It wasn’t the most advantageous direction Carencro baseball coach Brannon Cobb wanted to see his team heading in before the start of District 4-4A play.
While competitive at times, Carencro failed to win a game in the four-game, three-day Atchafalaya Challenge against some of the best teams from the Baton Rouge area.
To compound matters, the Bears’ losing streak reached six games with nondistrict losses to Class 2A Opelousas Catholic and Class 4A Breaux Bridge — two of the top teams in their respective classifications.
“It’s always tough for us, and we felt like we actually lost a couple of those games more than we got beat,” Cobb said. “Offensively, we were doing some good things. We just got caught in a situation with some bad breaks and let a few errors snowball on us.”
Cobb said a return to the basics in practice have been at the foundation of a subsequent three-game district winning streak, highlighted by Thursday’s 7-3 home victory over reigning two-time Class 4A state champion St. Thomas More.
Carencro (10-9, 3-0) will put that streak and share of the league lead on the line at 4 p.m. at home Tuesday against Teurlings Catholic (20-3, 3-0), the state’s No. 1-rated team, according to the LHSAA’s unofficial power ratings.
“It’s going to be a whole new challenge with Teurlings coming in,” Cobb said. “We’re going to stay with our philosophy, which is not worrying about who we’re playing, just worrying about us and making sure we’re doing what we need to do.”
District 3-5A co-leader Lafayette High (16-5, 4-1) hosts New Iberia (10-6, 2-3) Tuesday at p.m. with Notre Dame (12-9-1) traveling to Opelousas Catholic (16-3) in the District 5-2A openers for both teams.
Carencro followed a narrow 7-5 loss to Breaux Bridge, No. 4 in the latest power ratings, with a 12-1 victory over Opelousas two days before hosting STM and promptly falling behind 2-0 in the second.
Cobb said the play of the game came from shortstop Gabe Duffy, who kept the Bears afloat, stopping a potential two-run single and flipping to second for the final out.
“Instead of a 4-0 game, he kept it at 2-0 and we came back in bottom of that inning and scored one run and took the lead in the third,” Cobb said of Duffy’s play.
Winning pitcher Brian Sibley (4-3) pitched into the sixth before reliever Mason Devalcourt worked the final two innings, escaping a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the sixth.
Cobb said he plans to start sophomore Corey Boudreaux (2-1, 2.86 ERA, 18 Ks, 8 walks) against Teurlings, which is riding an eight-game win streak.
Right fielder Bodie Stelly — one of nine seniors — leads Carencro with a .469 average, 26 RBIs and 20 runs, followed by center fielder Derrick Living (.381, 13 runs) and Duffy (.352, 21 runs, 19 RBIs).
“We played a complete game against St. Thomas More,” Cobb said. “We feel like when we have pitching, play good defense and get timely hits, we give ourselves an opportunity to win every game.”