LAFAYETTE — Seemingly quiet innings gradually got loud at Lafayette High on Tuesday afternoon.
The Mighty Lions baseball team scored 14 of 15 runs with two outs in a 15-5 win over New Iberia in a District 3-5A game that ended after five innings because of the mercy rule.
“We have been preaching just keep the line moving and don’t try to do too much yourself,” Lafayette coach Sam Taulli said. “In the first inning, we hit a couple of balls hard, but overall I didn’t think we had a good approach.”
The Yellow Jackets got on the board first when Beau Hebert and Austin Trahan started the top of the second with back-to-back singles to put runners at first and second. Trevor Benoit gave New Iberia some two-out success when he singled to left center to make it 2-0.
Lafayette answered in the bottom half when catcher Cain Castille lined the first pitch he saw to center to score two runs.
“You have to forget about the long ball and just try to get your job done,” Castille said. “It takes pressure off my back that the guys after me (Hudson LaBorde and Emile Lege) will hit the ball hard at any given time.”
LaBorde and Lege played their parts in the Lions’ initial two-out rally. After Castille’s single, LaBorde hit a two-run double that put the Lions ahead 4-2. Lege knocked a pitch to right for a triple that tacked on a fifth run.
However, the Yellow Jackets bounced back and evened the score partly thanks to a two-run homer by lefty-hitting first baseman Brant Leslie. That pulled New Iberia within 5-4 in the third before they scored again to tie the game an inning later.
“Emile (Lege) will throw lights out for 10 to 12 pitches and then he might have a pitch come out of his hand funny and he doubts himself,” Taulli said. “Early in the game, he would get the first two guys out and then walk a guy and Leslie comes up and hits the two-run homer. That’s something he is going to have to overcome. He has good stuff. It’s just a matter of trusting his stuff.”
The Lions (17-5, 5-1) scored the next 10 runs by tallying three runs in the fourth and seven in the fifth. Bo Hardin’s two-run single was the key hit in the fourth. New Iberia (10-8, 3-3) retired the first two batters in the fifth before Castille walked to get things started. Lege later hit a two-run shot to right to change make it 11-5. A Hardin triple drove in two more runs, and Connor Simon pushed the lead to 10 when he came up with the bases loaded and sent a grounder past the New Iberia infield to score the final pair of runs.
“I thought we did a good job busting our butts down the (base) line, and we did what we needed to do by putting the ball down (on bunts),” Taulli said. “But we also had two innings where we really didn’t do anything.”