LAFAYETTE — When Berwick pitcher DJ Robicheaux was working his way through the heart of the Lafayette High baseball lineup, he received a house call courtesy of his coach, Mike Thomas.
The Lions were trailing Berwick 5-4 in the bottom of the seventh when cleanup hitter Hudson LaBorde came up with two down and the bases empty. Robicheaux ended up walking LaBorde to put the tying run on base. Thomas had a message for his pitcher during a mound visit.
“I told DJ, ‘I don’t care if they hit it to that house back there (across the street),’ ” Thomas said. “I wanted him to throw competitive pitches.”
Thomas rebounded to retire Miguel Reyes on a fly out to end a 5-4 Berwick win in a nondistrict contest Tuesday at Lafayette High. While the game’s closing sequences stuck out in Thomas’ mind, Lafayette coach Sam Taulli was focused on earlier moments.
“Their kids did a good job, but we also hit the ball in the air on a day when that was not the way to go,” Taulli said.
Berwick (13-13) jumped out to a 3-0 lead by putting up a run in the first and two in the second before the Lions got on the board in the bottom of the second thanks to a safety squeeze bunt by Connor Simon that rolled up the first-base line.
Berwick responded in the next half inning with a fourth run to push the margin back to three.
The Lions evened the score in the bottom of the fourth on a run-scoring grounder from LaBorde and a swing by Nylan Hossley, who was down 1-2 in the count when he made contact on a grounder the Panthers were unable to corral to make it 4-4.
However, Berwick leadoff man Logan Angeron started the fifth with a single to center. He later scored third on a grounder by Robicheaux.
“Lafayette and coach Taulli have a great program, and I was proud of the way we competed as a team,” Thomas said. “The turning point was when we had that error at first and they had tied the game, but then we scored in the next inning.”
No Lion had more than one hit. Reyes had a double and finished 1-for-3.
“We stole some bases, but we had to come up with that big two-out hit, and we didn’t,” Taulli said.
The Lions (18-7) will host Acadiana at 4 p.m. Thursday.