CROWLEY – The Crowley Gents finally broke through in the win column and they did so in a big way Thursday evening.
Pate Broussard worked five masterful innings on the mound and Crowley’s bats banged out eight hits in a 10-0 mercy rule victory over St. Edmund in the Gents’ opening game of the Gilbert Tevy Memorial Diamond Classic at Miller Stadium.
The victory ended a three-game slide by the Gents, who improved to 1-3 after Thursday’s victory.
“This was a big victory for us,” said Crowley High coach Christian Doughty following the contest. “We had struggled in our first three games, so to come out and play like we did tonight was huge.”
Broussard paved the way for the Gents by allowing just one hit in the five-inning contest. The freshman hurler walked two, hit one and finished the night with five strikeouts.
“We have a young ball club,” said Doughty, who starts three freshmen and has just two seniors on the roster. “To have a freshman come in like Pate and go five innings and give up one hit; he did an outstanding job. He kept his pitch count down, threw a lot of strikes and was able to locate the curveball over.”
Crowley’s defense was also superb.
The Gents were flawless in the field as Broussard served up six groundouts and three lineouts, including a line drive to second baseman Alex Ashby in the fourth inning that resulted in a double play.
“This was our second game in a row where we made no errors defensively and I think that makes all the difference,” said Doughty.
Offensively, the Gents were on fire from the get-go.
They collected four hits and scored four runs in the first inning off St. Edmund starter Andrew Hunt. The southpaw gave up single runs in the second and third before the Gents scored four more in the fourth.
The offensive outburst was the Gents’ best of the season after scoring just seven combined runs in their first three outings of the season.
“We only had two hits against Carencro on Tuesday,” said Doughty, whose squad lost that game, 4-0. “So to have eight hits in four innings, that was a big plus.”
Even when the hits didn’t fall, the Gents’ at-bats were quality ones. Ashby and Mickey Morgan both had line drive outs to center field while Brett Hebert, Ben Broussard and Alex LeBouef each had hard grounders that just missed getting through the infield.
“It was good to hit the ball,” said Doughty. “We’ve been talking about putting the ball in play and forcing them to make a play. In our three previous games, we had a lot of strikeouts so to be able to put the ball in play tonight was huge.”
Ashby got the ball rolling for the Gents in the first inning with a leadoff double to the left field wall. After a sacrifice bunt by Jon Riley Mouton, Ashby scored on a single to center by Mackay Mouton. LeBouef added an RBI single, Istre drove home a run on a ground out and Mickey Morgan scored on a error to give the Gents an early 4-0 advantage.
Hebert reached on an error in the second inning and scored on another single to center by Mackay Mouton before LeBouef, who was hit by a pitch, scored on Istre’s RBI single to center in the third.
Istre drove in a pair of runs in the fourth inning with a single down the left field line. The other two runs came across on an error and a wild pitch.
“Everyone contributed tonight,” said Doughty. “We had some guys that had been struggling but we told them to just keep working and they came through with some big hits tonight.”
Istre paced the Gents with two hits and four RBI. Mackay Mouton also had two hits and drove in two runs.
LeBouef had a single and an RBI, Ben Broussard and Pate Broussard each had one hit and Ashby had a double.
St. Edmund’s Drake Brunet had the Blue Jays lone hit of the night, a single to right field in the fifth inning.