Baseball: Lafayette to host Sulphur in key District 3-5A game _lowres

Advocate staff photo by BRYAN TUCK -- Lafayette High's Bo Hardin pitches against Sam Houston Tuesday in Lafayette.

The prospects didn’t look overly promising for Lafayette High’s baseball team following last Thursday’s 6-2 home loss to Acadiana.

To compound matters, the Lions trailed 3-0 after first inning at defending Class 5A state champion Barbe on Saturday.

“I told them after the (Acadiana) game we didn’t play as well as we should have,” Lafayette coach Sam Taulli said. “We gave too many free bases away. Put it behind you and go back and refocus, and we really played good defense against Barbe.”

Lafayette tallied single runs in the third, fourth and fifth innings to tie it and took a 7-3 lead on the strength of a four-run seventh and then hung on for dear life.

Hudson Laborde (3-for-4) supplied the big hit with a two-run double, Emile Lege drove in Laborde, and Bo Hardin’s suicide squeeze bunt accounted for the final run.

Hardin came on in relief of Miguel Reyes Jr. after one out in the bottom of the seventh and Barbe closing the gap to 7-6. He promptly loaded the bases on a pair of hits before getting a called third strike on a 3-2 pitch to end the game.

Lafayette (17-5, 3-1) looks to build on the momentum of such a dramatic victory when the Lions host No. 1 Sulphur (24-0, 6-0) with a share of the District 3-5A lead on the line at 4 p.m. Tuesday.

“You’re hoping the carryover affect is a good thing,” Taulli said. “Being able to come back after being down 3-0 on a really good team at their place, we have to be in a good frame of mind. We also know Sulphur’s playing outstanding ball.”

Hardin (6-1) gets the start on the mound and has the responsibility of trying to slow down the state’s hottest team.

Sulphur has followed a balanced recipe between solid pitching and clutch hitting to one of the school’s best starts, complete with three straight one-run victories.

The Golden Tors escaped with extra-inning wins last week over New Iberia (6-5) and Sam Houston (4-3), along with a 6-5 victory over Carencro.

“They don’t play their best every game but they’re still finding ways to win and you have to give them a lot of credit for being able to do that,” Taulli said. “When you’re really playing well and you have a target on your back like Sulphur does now, everyone’s gunning for them. I think that’s a little extra motivation for our kids knowing they’re undefeated. They’re thinking, ‘Hey, let’s go and put the first loss on them.’ ”