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Brusly baseball team advances to semi-finals

Written by John Dupont on .

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CROWLEY — It took three years, but Brusly got its revenge against Notre Dame Crowley.

The Pioneers squashed Brusly’s championship hopes in a 10-2 win May 15, 2010 at the Class 3A title game in Ruston.

Brusly didn’t let NDC get in its way this time.

Logan LeBlanc (1-for-4) drove in two RBIs and Logan Smith doubled home one run to propel the No. 11 seed Panthers to a 4-1 win Monday night against No. 3 seed Notre Dame at Miller Stadium.

The victory punched Brusly’s ticket to the 3A semifinal game in the Louisiana High School Athletic Association State Baseball Tournament at 1 p.m. Friday at McMurry Park in Sulphur.

Familiarity played a role in Brusly’s win over NDC, but it will shine even brighter Friday.

The Panthers will once again cross paths with District 7-3A rival E.D. White, who toppled Brusly twice en route to the league championship.

In action against the Pioneers, a LeBlanc two-run single in the fifth scored Kwanston Adkins and Smith to seal the win. Smith led off on a walk and Adkins on an error at third.

Smith engineered three double plays to shut down Pioneer scoring opportunities.

Prejean put the icing on the cake when he struck out three-across in the bottom of the seventh.

The first came in the second inning with runners on first and second. Smith struck again with one Pioneer on base in the fourth, and in the sixth after a NDC batter’s line drive single to left.

Cullen Prejean scored the first run on a Cameron Willis single to center with two outs in the second inning. Prejean reached on a single to second and advanced on a Landon Andre sacrifice.

A Smith double to center paved the way for a run by Beau Witty, who reached on a single to center.

Pioneer pitcher Gavin Bourgeois sent back Adkins and Blake Manola on the first at-bat in the first. He also sent back LeBlanc and Taylor Prejean to stop Brusly in the third.

Bourgeois also stopped Adkins and Taylor Prejean at the plate in the top of the seventh.

Brusly heads into action Friday against E.D. White after losses of 4-3 and 8-4 in regular season 7-3A action.

The No. 2-seeded Cardinals blanked North Vermillion 10-0 Monday in Thibodaux to reach the semifinals.

Dupont, whose brother Trevor last guided the Panthers to the state tournament, believes a rematch with the Cardinals works in his team’s favor.

“It’s an advantage to us because we’re hungry to play them again,” he said. “Plus, they were our first district opponents — that was over a month ago – and we’re playing a lot better than we did at that time.

“We played well against them the last few times,” Dupont said. “I’m confident in the team, we’ll be ready to play and we’ll come out on top this time.”

The Panthers would face the same adversity regardless of the opposition Friday, Dupont said.

“When you get down to the final eight, there are no easy teams,” he said. “What helps us right now is that we have all the phases – we can hit, pitch and play defense. We need to keep putting it together for it to work.”

The winner faces the victor in the Parkview Baptist-North DeSoot game in the state championship finale at 1 p.m. Saturday.

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