LAFAYETTE – The Crowley Millers let a golden opportunity slip away Monday evening in the winner’s bracket finals of the 2012 American Legion Sub-Regional Tournament at UL-Lafayette’s Tigue Moore Stadium.
The Millers went toe-to-toe with tournament favorite Heymann and actually led for the better part of the nine-inning contest.
But the Millers’ inability to throw strikes caught up with them – 15 walks issued - and they fell to the Chiefs, 10-9.
The loss sent the Millers into the loser’s bracket finals last night where they took on Minden. Results of that contest was not available at press time.
“It was amazing that we were still in the game,” said Millers’ coach Timmy Robichaux. “It’s a testament to us playing defense and hitting at the plate.
“Usually you can’t overcome eight walks (like Heymann gave up), much less 15. If we just cut those walks in half, we make it harder on them to score runs.”
Of the Chiefs’ 11 runs, nine of them reached base without putting the ball in play. Seven were issued walks while the other two were hit by pitches.
“In the end, it just came down to too many walks,” said Robichaux. “We didn’t make them earn enough. We gave them too many free bags and it took less things to score runs for them.”
Despite the walks, the Millers were right in the game until the end.
They led 7-5 after five innings but then gave up four runs in the sixth frame on three walks and three hits.
The Millers reclaimed the lead with two runs in the top of the eighth inning, but they again gave up a pair of runs in the bottom of the frame on four walks and one hit.
The Millers had a chance to get out of the eighth with the score tied at 10-10 but an errant throw to the plate from the outfield allowed the eventual winning run to score.
“We had a chance right there,” said Robichaux. “If we can get out of that inning, we have a shot. We just can’t give that run away right there.”
The Millers jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning on a bases-loaded double by Mackay Mouton, but they gave up three runs in the bottom of the frame on two walks, an error and one hit.
The Millers went into the fifth up 6-3 but then they allowed a pair of runs in the fifth on three walks and one hit.
Connor Goss provided a spark in the top of the sixth with a home run over the left center field wall before the Chiefs answered with four runs on the bottom of the frame.
The Chiefs had eight hits in the contest off three different pitchers. Logan Gallett was 2-for-3 with two RBI while Alex Martin and Josh Villagomey each had one hit and two RBI. Antonio Culatta, Ethan Guidry, Tyler Polk and Phillip Williams each had one hit.
Overall, the Millers had eight hits. Goss led the charge with a 3-for-4 performance that included a home run, a triple and three RBI.
Mouton drove in three runs with a double while Brody Mouton had a double and an RBI, Paiton McBride had a triple, Brennan Corzine added a double and Gavin Bourgeois and Taylor Doughty each had a single.
“I think we hit the ball well enough to win,” said Robichaux. “We just have to do a better job on the mound.”
LAFAYETTE – Minden rallied from an early deficit and scored five runs in the sixth inning to top the Abbeville 29ers and remain alive in the 2012 American Legion Sub-Regional tournament Monday afternoon.
Abbeville claimed an early 2-0 before Minden rallied for one run in the fourth inning and two in the fifth to stake a 3-2 advantage.
Minded added five more runs in the sixth inning on six hits, including a two-run double by Zach Pearson and an RBI single from Trip Davis.
Abbeville’s Brock Clark singled in a pair of runs in the seventh inning and Peyton Durke drove in one on a fielder’s choice to cut the lead to 8-5.
But that was as close as they would get as the 29ers went down in order in the final two innings.
Minden’s Trip Davis picked up the victory on the mound after surrendering two runs on four hits. He struck out seven in 4 2/3 innings.
Justin Broussard suffered the loss for the 29ers. He allowed eight runs on seven hits and two walks in 5 1/3 innings.
Peter Broussard had three of the 29ers’ six hits while Ryan Domingue had two and Clark had one.
Minden banged out nine hits on the day.
Pearson led the charge with two hits, including a double and three RBI. Davis, Ben Boydstun and Michael Meredith also had two hits each while Cody Davis rounded out the offense with one hit.