CROWLEY – Better late than never.
That was Northside Christian coach Lane Marceaux’s thoughts Thursday afternoon following his team’s opening game in the Gilbert Tevy Memorial Diamond Classic hosted by Crowley High at Miller Stadium.
Marceaux’s Warriors erased a 3-run deficit in the sixth inning and scored the go-ahead run in the top of the ninth to steal a 4-3 victory over Iota.
“We started out a little slow, but we stayed with it,” said Marceaux, whose team improved to 2-0 with the victory. “It wasn’t going too well for us at first, but our bats came through and we were able to sneak away with one.”
Iota took a 1-0 lead in the first inning and added single runs in the third land fourth frames to take a 3-0 advantage.
That lead held until the top of the sixth when Northside strung together four straight two-out hits to tie the game at 3-3.
“We let them in the game and that’s what happens,” said Iota coach Tyler Chachere, whose team stranded 11 runners on the day. “We had many opportunities. We had a leadoff double one inning and we left him there.
“We just didn’t execute.”
Michael Reed scored Iota’s first run of the game after reaching base on an error. He stole third and crossed the plate on another throwing error.
In the third inning, Michael Thevis was hit by a pitch and eventually scored on a sacrifice fly by Kyle Smith.
Iota added to the lead in the fourth inning when Tim Lunson walked and scored on an RBI single to left field.
That was the extent of Iota’s offense.
Northside, however, was just about to get started.
With two outs in the top of the sixth inning, Shea Bertrand singled to center to start the rally. Joseph Trahan followed with an RBI double to left field and Nick Zaunbrecher drove in a run with a single to center. Christian Morgan capped off the inning with an RBI single to knot the game at 3-3.
“We had two strikes on them each time they got a hit,” said Chachere of the sixth inning barrage. “They had a good two-strike approach and they put the bat on the ball. They hit it well.”
Northside had just two hits entering the sixth inning.
“We just hung in there,” said Marceaux. “We kept on preaching to them not to give up and we knew if we could get to the top of the lineup, we had a chance.”
With the game tied, Marceaux turned to Trahan and the All-State hurler didn’t disappoint. He worked the final 3 2/3 innings and allowed no runs on no hits while striking out two.
“We weren’t planning on throwing Joe tonight, but we had a chance to win it so we went after it,” said Marceaux. “He was throwing pretty good and it looked like they were just trying to catch up with it. We got some ground balls and we made the plays.”
The Warriors gave Trahan the only run he needed in the top of the ninth thanks in part to back-to-back walks to start the inning. Following a strikeout, Bertrand came through with an RBI single to center for the eventual game-winning run.
An intentional walk to Trahan then loaded the base but Iota was able to avoid any further damage when Michael Thevis made a diving catch at second base and then tagged second base to complete the double play and end the inning.
The one run was more than enough for Trahan, who set the Dogs down in order in the bottom of the frame.
J.T. LeJeune took the loss for the Dogs after giving up one run on one hit and four walks. He struck out three in the final two innings.
Beau Miller started the game on the mound for the Dogs and gave up three runs on five hits. He struck out seven in six innings of work.
“Beau did a good job,” said Chachere. “He gave us a chance to win. He threw six innings and gave up three runs. He got out of a couple pickles and I thought he did great.”
Thevis took over in the seventh and gave up two hits. He also struck out two before giving way to LeJeune in the eighth.
“Michael came in and threw up a zero and J.T. did a good job right there at the end,” said Chachere. “We just couldn’t get it done at the plate.”
Overall, Iota had just three hits on the day. Austin Montgomery had one hit and an RBI, Thevis and LeJeune each had a single and Smith recorded an RBI.
Northside was led by Trahan and Bertrand with two hits and one RBI each. Both of Trahan’s hits were doubles.
Morgan and Nick Zaunbrecher each had a single and an RBI while Dillon King and Jordan Monte each had one hit.