LAFAYETTE — After Lafayette played chase for five innings against District 3-5A rival Barbe, a bloop and a blast put the Mighty Lions in command.
Catcher Cain Castille’s game-winning bloop single over a drawn-in infield scored leadoff hitter Tyler Miller in a 3-2 Lafayette baseball win Thursday afternoon in a District 3-5A contest.
“In those situations (with a drawn in defense), you just have to stick with what you know as a hitter and drive it to the outfield,” Castille said.
The hit capped a three-run Lions rally that saw them wipe out a 2-0 Barbe lead. Emile Lege brought the Lions back to an even position in the bottom of the sixth when he turned on a pitch and sent it soaring over the right-field wall to knock in Hudson Laborde in front of him.
“We have some guys in our lineup who can square the ball up at any time and get it out of here,” Lafayette coach Sam Taulli said. “With Hudson having a little bit of a leg issue right there, I had (to pinch) run for him earlier. We were thinking about maybe trying to run for him, but I had just finished saying, ‘Let Lege hit one in the bleachers, and he can jog around.’ That’s exactly what happened.”
Barbe, the defending Class 5A state champion, was the team applying the pressure through the first handful of innings.
Bucs’ starting pitcher Adam Goree scored the game’s first run in the top of the second when he split the gap in left-center with a liner that scored Ty Manuel. The Bucs maintained that advantage until the fifth when Antonio Gauthier scored a second run on a wild pitch.
“They put a little more pressure on us than we did on them,” Taulli said. “They bunted very well, and we didn’t.”
However, the Lions (14-4, 2-0) got an early leg up in the district race by bunching a handful of hits together in the final two innings against Barbe (17-5, 0-1).
“It shows me what this group is made out of,” Taulli said. “I knew what last year’s group was made of. They never gave up, and they were always in the game. This group, they are a little bit different, but you know they will battle you.”
Gauthier finished 3-for-4 for Barbe with a double and a pair of singles. Lege, Laborde and shortstop Connor Simon each had a pair of hits for the Lions, who will have a bye Saturday before they resume district play against Acadiana next week.