The Zachary Broncos turned the table on the Hahnville Tigers by beating them at home in the second round of the playoffs to avenge their own playoff loss to HHS in the second round at home last year.
Hahnville took an early 2-0 lead, but Zachary tied the game in the third inning on a sacrifice bunt and a following balk by starting pitcher Tyler Lamers. In the fourth, Zacharyís Ethan Troth lined a double to bring in two more runs, chasing Lamers from the game in the process. Hahnville then put Brooks Vial on the mound, but he didnít fare much better.
Zachary went up 7-2 in the fifth on a double and triple, but Hahnville fought back in the fifth and sixth innings.
Lamers hit a sacrifice fly in the fifth to make the score 7-3 and Simmons singled to right in the sixth to bring in Hahnvilleís final run of the game. Hahnville loaded the bases in the frame, but the Tigers werenít able to capitalize. In the seventh, Bronco closer Travis Cliburn forced Easton Melancon to ground into a double play to end the game.
David Baudry, Hahnville head coach, said his team made too many mistakes and did not get big plays when they needed them.
"I think they came in and we knew they were going to put pressure on us and I think the pressure got to us a little bit," he said. "We didnít make good pitches and we didnít make good plays. Offensively we did a great job, but we needed that one double."
Baudry praised Zacharyís performance and said the Tigers showed their resilience by putting themselves in position to pull out the win in the end.
"They are fabulous, they are a great program and so are we. I was pleased with the way we competed," he said. "I thought that take away a misplay here and not getting a big hit there, we are going to have a chance to win the game."
Zachary head coach Jesse Cassard said last year his team was ranked No. 2 in the state when Hahnville beat them at home in the second round of the playoffs.
"Itís poetic justice. You couldnít write a better script," he said. "It is a good feeling."
However, Cassard said the Broncos were fortunate to get the win.
"(Baudry) does a good job with these guys, they play hard. Theyíve got some good athletes. Itís never easy," he said. "They were just as good as us."
Cassard pointed out the main difference between the two teams was who produced the big plays on offense.
"When they got the hits they were singles. They didnít really have that knockout double or triple like we did," he said. "We hit a few of them down that hole and it was kind of a knockout punch."
Hahnville will lose nearly half of their team to graduation. Of the 23 current players, 11 are seniors who will move on after this year.
Included in the senior class are starting pitcher Vial, who was a major component of the teamís success in recent years, and a few of the teamís better hitters in Tyler Simmons, Connor Lorio, Michael Landry and Easton Melancon.
"We have tremendous seniors and tremendous senior leadership and thatís the bad part about this. We have to send them off and we want to stay together and keep playing," Baudry said. "They are such great kids to be around. They work so hard and they accomplished an awful lot this year and that is the disappointing part of it."
However, Hahnville will still return a lot of talent next year.
Juniors Dylan Keller and Todd Porche were some of the more successful hitters for the team on the season and pitcher Tyler Lamers will also return. Porche also saw some time at pitcher this year and may be in the mix to replace Vial in the rotation next season.
Baudry said his seniors played a big part in his teamís success over the past two seasons and he is proud of their accomplishments.
"Anytime you can go undefeated two straight years in our district, and be able to host a second round game, it is a success," he said. "We have nothing to put our heads down about."
|Hahnville senior Easton Melancon slides back to first base ahead of the throw.|