LAFAYETTE — The Acadiana Wreckin’ Rams used a pair of big innings to power past rival Lafayette High 11-4 in Game 1 of their best-of-three second-round Class 5A playoff matchup Friday.
Acadiana scored five runs in the top of the first, giving Rams starter Chad Romero all the support he would need.
“We brought our bats early, and the big lead allowed me to go out and be a bulldog on the mound,” said Romero.
Romero went the distance for Acadiana (18-14), giving up four runs on 10 hits and striking out two.
“He did a really good job for us, competed, made some pitches and found a way to get guys out,” Acadiana coach Matt McCullough said of his pitcher.
In the top of the first, Luis Flores reached on an infield single and moved to second after Bralen Trahan bounced to shortstop, but an error by the Lions put two runners on base.
Hunter Tabb then singled to right, scoring Flores and giving Acadiana a 1-0 lead. The RBI was the first of five for Tabb.
Romero helped his cause by singling in Trahan. With Acadiana up 2-0, Mateo Beltan then singled in Tabb. After a JuJuan Franklin groundout, Collin Dugas delivered a two-out, two-run single. By the time the Rams were retired in the first, they had sent nine men to the plate and scored five runs.
Lafayette (22-9) got a run back in the bottom of the first thanks to Emile Lege’s RBI groundout. The ground out scored Cain Castille who led off with a double and moved to third on a sacrifice.
The Lions picked up another run in the third, cutting the Acadiana lead to 5-2.
The Acadiana offense punched home two more runs in the fifth, starting with Tabb’s solo home run to left center.
Romero followed up the homer with a single. After a stolen base by courtesy runner Jerin Menard, the Rams had a runner in scoring position with two outs. Beltran doubled to left to score Menard and extend the Acadiana lead to 7-2.
Despite being down five runs, Lafayette did not lay down, scoring two runs in the bottom of the fifth.
Castille reached on an error to begin the inning and followng consecutive groundouts he was at third base. He scored after Romero uncorked a wild pitch, cutting the Acadiana lead to 7-3. Hudson Laborde, who was batting when Castile scored, then homered off a 2-2 pitch to make the score 7-4.
After giving up two runs in the fifth, Acadiana effectively broke Lafayette High’s back in the sixth when the Rams scored four times.
New Lafayette High pitcher Adam Arnold loaded the bases to begin the inning but nearly got himself out of danger when he induced an infield fly and ground ball that the Lions used to get the lead runner at home for two outs.
But Tabb hit the first pitch he saw down the third base line for a bases clearing double.
For good measure Romero followed the double with an RBI single pushing the lead to 11-4.
The two teams will be back in action Saturday, with Acadiana needing just one win to advance.
Game time is scheduled for noon.