Despite a three hour rain delay, the Hahnville Tigers came through when it counted by scoring two runs in the bottom of the sixth for a 4-2 playoff victory over Byrd.
Hahnville trailed 2-0 heading into the fifth inning but finally gained some momentum in the bottom of the frame. Easton Melancon got the Tigers started with a single to center and then stole second to get into scoring position.
Dylan Keller laced a single to center to drive in Melancon and put Hahnville on the board. Keller made his way to third on a grounder by Connor Lorio and then got a free pass home when Byrd's pitcher balked to tie the game at 2-2.
That's when lightning struck and both teams headed indoors for more than three hours before play finally resumed.
Hahnville head coach David Baudry said he wasn’t concerned that his team would lose momentum when the Tigers were finally able to retake the field.
“I watched how the guys reacted and I knew we would be fine,” he said.
Baudry was right. Ten minutes after play started, Tyler Lamers opened the bottom of the sixth with a line drive single to center. Brooks Vial drew a walk and Ty Cologne laid down a perfect bunt to advance both of his teammates.
On a 1-1 pitch, Melancon gave his team the lead for good by lining a shot to left that brought both Lamers and Vial home for the 4-2 win.
“I thought it was a very touching performance considering the fact we had a three hour rain delay. Our guys showed their resilience and toughness,” Baudry said.
Lamers picked up the victory for the Tigers after coming in in the fifth. He gave up only one hit while striking out two. Vial pitched the first five innings for the Tigers, giving up six hits and two earned runs while striking out four.
Vial threw 69 pitches before play stopped and Baudry said he never considered bringing him back on the mound after a three hour wait.
“We have a lot of confidence in both of them. I liked the match up we had with Tyler considering where (Byrd) was in their lineup,” Baudry said.
Melancon led the Tigers from the plate, going 2-for-3 with two RBIs. Keller was 1-for-3 with an RBI.
Though the Tigers had only six hits in the game, Baudry felt his team performed well from the plate.
“We hit a lot of balls on the nose, even prior to the rain delay,” he said. “(Byrd) made two diving catches in the outfield and I thought they played great defense.”
The Tigers will host No. 10 Zachary in the second round on Monday at 4 p.m. Zachary cruised past the first round with a 10-0 win over Airline.
“(Zachary) puts intense pressure on a defense. They will bunt, run and hit and run,” Baudry said. “They can hit as well. They are not going to sit back and wait. We have to be prepared to play defense.”
Baudry said he has not made a decision on who will pitch on Monday, but added that both Lamers and Vial will be ready to go if needed.