Go down swinging: ‘Scrappy’ Iowa gives Sterlington all it can handle
SULPHUR — Iowa went down fighting, but its last-chance rally fell short in a 7-3 Sterlington win Wednesday night in a Class 3A semifinal game at the state baseball tournament.
Sterlington (32-5), the top seed and most recent champion, advanced to face Lutcher in the championship game. Lutcher advanced with a 4-0 win over Brusly.
Iowa (22-15) opened the game in style. Leadoff hitter Cade Labruyere reached on an infield single, advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Gavin Fontenot and scored on a two-out single by Cameron Lavergne.
Sterlington tied the score in the second on a Cole Thompson triple to score Parker Coley.
The Panthers took the lead in the third with three runs. William Perkins had an RBI triple to score Sterling Sims and scored on a single by Seaver Sheets. Poker Coley added an RBI on a sacrifice fly to make it 4-1.
Sterlington added three runs over the fifth and sixth innings on a RBI single by Sheets, RBI triple by John Barr and wild pitch that scored Barr.
Iowa mounted a last-gasp rally, scoring twice with two outs in the seventh inning. Hunter Dartez singled and scored on a wild pitch. Landon Langley was hit by a pitch and scored on a throwing error. The Yellow Jackets had the bases loaded and tying run at the plate, but Sterlington reliever Clay Benson got a strikeout to end the game.
Iowa head coach Daniel Hennigan said his players are overachievers and fighters.
“We have, on paper, a group of guys who are not supposed to be very good,” he said. “They are just a scrappy bunch of dudes who play the right way over and over again. We fell a little bit short, but we gave Sterlington a fight for their money.”
Hennigan said the Jackets showed their personality with the seventh-inning rally.
“That sums up our guys — no field, no college commits, just a bunch of guys playing for the guys to their right and their left,” he said.
Labruyere reached base three times to lead the Yellow Jackets. Starting pitcher Caiden Fontenot threw a complete game, allowing eight hits and no walks.
Sheets had two hits, two RBI and two stolen bases for Sterlington.
Iowa’s Cade Labruyere runs down a deep fly ball against Sterlington during a Class 3A semifinal game at the state baseball tournament Wednesday at McMurry Park in Sulphur.
Iowa’s Caiden Fontenot pitches against Sterlington during a Class 3A state baseball tournament semifinal Wednesday at McMurry Park in Sulphur.