Photos by Joelle Wright/The West Side Journal
The Brusly boys will once more travel to Sulphur to contend for the state title.
After a tough 8-6 loss on Friday, May 5, against Erath High School, the Panthers came back swinging on Saturday, rallying to win the next two games in the best-of-three series to earn the right to play in the Allstate Sugar Bowl/Louisiana High School Athletic Association Baseball State Championship Tournament this weekend at McMurry Park in Sulphur.
“We did not play very well Friday and still had a chance to win, so we talked about our mistakes and decided to take it one game at a time on Saturday,” Brusly head coach Tait Dupont said.
Dupont sent senior John Blanchard to the mound for Saturday’s first game at 11 a.m. Blanchard threw the entire game, shutting out Erath and allowing just one hit. Blanchard struck out six and only walked three in the 10-0 win.
“We came out Saturday morning and hit the ball really well and Blanchard threw a one hitter,” Dupont added. “It didn’t hurt that Ben Bergeron was back in the lineup as the designated hitter. He really gave us a boost.”
Bergeron hit a single and double in the game.
Brusly started scoring in the second with one run and added another run to the total each inning through the fifth, scoring two in the third inning, three in the fourth and four in the fifth.
Senior catcher Connor Manola hit 2-for-4, with a single and a double, driving in two runs.
Cameron Daigle also drove in two with his single.
Courtland Simoneaux and Harrison Boudreaux both got two hits a piece. Simoneaux hit two singles, going 2-for-3 with an RBI. Boudreaux hit a single and a double, going 2-for-3 with an RBI and three runs.
The Panthers got down early in the second game at 6:45 that night but battled back to take a 4-2 lead and hold on to advance to Sulphur.
“Austin Koenig threw an outstanding game,” Dupont said.
Koenig struck out eight and only walked two batters.
Brusly was down 2-1 in the second inning, but those two runs were the only points Erath would get in the game as Brusly came back in the third and scored three runs and held onto the lead for the 4-2 win.
They may not have been big hits, but the Panthers hit a total of six singles to get the job done.
Simoneaux had the most hits, going 2-for-4 with an RBI. Daigle only had one hit, but that hit drive in two runs for Brusly.
Manola hit 1-for-3 with a run and an RBI. Blanchard, Boudreaux and Koenig each had singles as well.
Erath refused to pitch to Bergeron in the second game, intentionally walking him four times, but that didn’t bother Bergeron one bit.
“There was no better feeling than to come back after a tough loss on Friday when I sat out, and then to bounce back and play two Saturday and get two wins to advance to Sulphur,” Bergeron said. “It was a great feeling and a great win.”
Brusly moves on to the state tournament this Thursday and will play No. 5-ranked Iowa High School at 7:30 p.m. at McMurry Park in Sulphur.