Bucs rally late for 4-2 playoff win

<p>Barbe’s Carter Quinn (18) slides in safely putting the Buc’s up 4-2 as Walker’s C Dakota Wilson tries to make the tag during their first round playoff game at Barbe High School in Lake Charles, La., Monday, April 23, 2018. (Rick Hickman/Lake Charles American Press)</p>RickHickmanPhotographer

<p class="p1">Barbe survived the first round this year. But not without some drama.

<p class="p1">The No. 4 Bucs, who lost last year’s playoff opener as the second seed, scored two runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to beat Walker 4-2.

<p class="p1">Barbe (27-8) advances to the regional round and will host No. 13 Live Oak in a best of three series this weekend. Live Oak advanced with a 4-2 win over West Monroe.

<p class="p1">Ben David singled to lead off the bottom of the sixth for the Bucs. Courtesy runner Ethan Medlin advanced to third on a wild pitch, then scored the go-ahead run when the throw to third went into the outfield. Carter Quinn singled and scored on a hit by Brayden Corley later in the inning to add an insurance run.

<p class="p1">Walker (14-18) had taken a 2-1 lead in the third inning. Lane Thomas singled and scored on a Tristan Taylor single. Taylor scored on a two-out double by Chase Jeansonne.

<p class="p1">Thomas kept the Barbe offense in check for the first half of the game. Bryan Lawrence doubled and scored on a squeeze bunt by Ben David. The Bucs tied the game in the fourth on a sacrifice fly by Quinn.

<p class="p1">Bucs head coach Glenn Cecchini said Walker was better than its record showed.

<p class="p1">“Two of their top starters got injured and they lost a lot of games early,” he said. “Thomas is good, a Southeastern Louisiana signee. He throws hard, competes, keeps the ball down. They were squaring a lot of balls up. It was a hard-fought game.”

<p class="p1">Cecchini said the Bucs did not let the pressure get to them.

<p class="p1">“We stayed in the game, we didn’t panic,” he said.

<p class="p1">Isaac Duplechain pitched four-and-a third innings of scoreless relief to pick up the win.

<p class="p1">“Duplechain pitched great, he always competes and throws a lot of stikes,” Cecchini said. “He located his “astball really well. Corley got two bunts down, which was huge. The key to the game was (Bucs second baseman Antonio) Gauthier making a catch (with two runners on in the top of the fifth) on a great play, and then the next batter Lawrence makes a great catch on what I thought would be a hit to keep the game tied.”

<p class="p1">David had two hits to lead Barbe. Thomas had a pair of hits for the Wildcats.