Lafayette — A day removed from a victory against rival Lafayette High, the Acadiana baseball team failed to capitalize on a late-game comeback and fell to Barbe 6-4 in eight innings Thursday at Scott McCullough Field.
Down 4-3 and a strike away from defeat, Acadiana left fielder Ethan Bellman faced a 2-2 count when he hit an RBI single to score catcher Devin Boutin from second and tie the game at four.
But the Bucs (25-9, 9-5)responded in the eighth by taking advantage of Acadiana’s mistakes and scoring the final two runs without a hit.
“We weren’t real sharp,” said Acadiana coach Jay Hodges. “(Barbe’s) a good ballclub. Our district’s tough, and you just can’t give that many extra outs and you have to be sharper or you’re going to lose. That’s what happened today.”
Mistakes haunted the Rams (19-11, 10-4 District 3-5A) throughout, especially on defense where they committed five errors.
Three of these errors came in the second inning and led to three Bucs scoring to give them a lead they would hold for a majority of the game.
After cutting Barbe’s lead to a single run in the fifth inning, Acadiana had a chance to the contest at four apiece when right fielder Jacob Landry doubled followed by a Bucs throwing error that allowed him to get to third with no player covering home.
Unfortunately for the Rams, neither Landry nor Hodges noticed Barbe’s mental error, and he stalled at third base before shortstop Tyler Laporte flew out to end the inning.
“I cost a run there at the end, and we should have one the game,” Hodges said. “I wasn’t paying attention. I was focusing on my runner reaching third, and I didn’t notice the catcher left home plate. We score there, and we win it. I told my guys I’m going to take that one because I screwed it up.”
Barbe coach Glenn Cecchini said he was proud of the way the Bucs played, especially after giving up the lead so late in the game.
The Bucs played arguably some of its best baseball in the eighth inning, scoring two runs before Barbe pitcher Brant McNease struck out the side to close out the victory.
“The sign of a championship team — and we’re still the defending state champion — is you have to battle back from adversity, and we did,” Cecchini said.
With the postseason right around the corner, Hodges said he hopes Acadiana will be able to find consistency.
“You want to be on a winning streak going (into the playoffs),” Hodges said.
“I told them now’s the time to lose one. If we had to lose one, lose it now and then get a streak going again and hopefully we can ride that through mid-May.”