After having two teams drop out of the district race and inclement weather causing numerous cancelations, the Millers found themselves in second place in a two-team District 7-East race heading into Monday’s regular-season finale against the Opelousas Indians.
With just one loss in league play - an 8-5 loss to the Indians two weeks ago - the Millers had to beat their rivals to force a playoff game for the league title.
And to make matters worse, the game that was scheduled to be played at Miller Stadium had to be moved to Opelousas due to wet field conditions.
Luckily, the change of venue had little effect on the Millers.
Crowley got a strong outing from pitcher Gavin Bourgeois and the offense banged out 10 hits to lead the Millers to a convincing 11-0 mercy-rule victory over the Indians in five innings.
“This was a good turnaround after losing to them the first time,” said Millers’ coach Timmy Robichaux. “It was definitely a better played game on our end tonight.”
In the first meeting between the two teams, Indians hurler Chase Zerangue handcuffed the Millers for the better part of the game.
On Monday, Zerangue got the start again.
Only this time, he wasn’t as fortunate.
The Millers jumped on Zerangue for three hits and one run in the second inning before touching him up for seven runs on three hits and four walks in the third frame.
Hogan Guidry got the Millers on the board in the second inning with an RBI single to left field that plated Luke Ancelet, who reached base on a fielder’s choice.
Mackay Mouton started the rally in the third inning with a leadoff single and Ancelet followed with a walk. Brody Deshotel then delivered the big blow with a two-run triple that one hopped the left center field wall.
Brennan Corzine drove in another run on a fielder’s choice and Connor Goss doubled in a pair of runs.
The Millers put the game away in the fifth with three more runs. Deshotel drove in one run with his second triple of the game and Corzine plated another run on a single. The final run crossed the plate on a wild pitch.
While the Miller’s bats were producing runs, Bourgeois was doing more than his part on the mound. The crafty southpaw didn’t allow a hit until the fourth inning and then gave up another in the fifth. On the night, he walked just one and struck out five to earn the victory.
“We tell our guys all the time, that’s where it starts….on the mound,” said Robichaux. “And Gavin came out and located all his pitches, threw strikes and got ahead of hitters. That’s where it really started and from there, we had a couple people step up and hit some balls hard.”
Offensively, Deshotel led the way with a 3-for-3 performance that included two triples and three RBI. Goss, Mouton and Corzine each had two hits and two RBI while Guidry had one hit and one RBI.
“We put the ball in play tonight and forced them to make plays and that’s what helped us tonight,” said Robichaux. “We had multiple runners on at times and we had some people put the ball in the gap.
“Brodie hitting two triples, that was big. That’s when you can really score some runs quickly.”
The Millers will take on the Indians again tonight at UL-Lafayette’s Tigue Moore Field in a game that will determine the district championship.
Regardless of the outcome of that game, the Millers will advance to this weekend’s Regional Tournament which will also be held at Tigue Moore Field.
“The way the regular season has been going, we’re really not on a set playing schedule and it’s been kind of worse this year with just a few teams in district,” said Robichaux. “So it’s been tough to get our timing down as hitters. They just have to stick with it and with one more (regular season) game and the tournament coming up, hopefully, everybody will get their timing down and start hitting the ball at the right time.”