LAKE CHARLES — The Acadiana baseball team used stifling defense and a late rally to defeat Barbe 3-0 and move into a tie for first in District 3-5A in a road game characterized by solid pitching Tuesday.
After five scoreless innings in which only one base runner reached second base, the Rams (15-8, 6-1) put some players on base in the sixth inning and took advantage of Barbe’s (20-7, 4-3) mistakes to score three runs.
The victory earned the Rams a spot atop the district in a three-way tie with Lafayette and Sulphur.
“It’s a huge win,” Acadiana coach Jay Hodges said. “Barbe’s a really good baseball team, and we haven’t played well here in the past few years. … We pieced some things together there in the sixth, and we were able to take advantage of it and get them into their bullpen.”
The run began when Barbe pitcher Tyler Booth walked the leadoff batter after a pair of singles, leading to his exit from the game.
Reliever Bryan Lawrence tried to get out of the jam but eventually walked a runner in and another scored on a fielder’s choice.
“We just got some people on base and had some really good at-bats,” Hodges said. “We had guys finding holes with the baseball. We didn’t give up at the plate.
“We battled. When we got down in the count, we put the ball in play and executed.”
Those three runs proved to be all the Rams needed to secure the victory.
Acadiana pitcher Tanner Broussard earned the win, pitching six scoreless innings. He struck out five and gave up two hits.
“It’s hard to win if you don’t score a run,” Barbe coach Glenn Cecchini said. You have to give those guys credit. (Broussard) pitched great. He threw curveball, change-up, fastball. He beat us.”
After hitting a batter and giving up a single to open the seventh, Broussard was replaced by Acadiana closer Derek Boutin, who snuffed out any hope of a Barbe comeback by striking out three consecutive batters.
“Derek came here at the end and did what he’s been doing,” Hodges said. “He’s went in there throwing hard, gave them a different look from the other side and struck out the side. I can’t say enough about (our pitchers’) performance.”
Acadiana will look to further secure its new spot atop the district when it returns home to take on Carencro, while Barbe will try to get on track when it travels to rival Sulphur.