BREAUX BRIDGE — The Breaux Bridge baseball team hasn’t won a district championship since 2010.
That season was the Tigers’ fourth district title since 1987, and third under longtime coach Kyle Cormier. Breaux Bridge took one step closer toward capturing that fifth title Saturday with a hard-fought 6-2 District 5-4A victory over St. Martin Parish rival Cecilia. The Tigers defeated the Bulldogs 12-2 in late March.
“We got so much respect for those guys,” Cormier said. “I was surprised by the score of the first game. They are a sleeping giant, and they showed how good they were today. We are happy to get the win.”
Cecilia (8-9, 1-5) took the lead right off the bat as senior shortstop Landon Roberts led off the game with a hard-hit double down the third-base line. After a sacrifice bunt by Daniel Angelle, Roberts scored on Kale Boudreaux’s single. Roberts went 2-for-4 on the day.
The Bulldogs had an opportunity to extend that lead in the third and fourth innings.
With two outs in the third, Angelle walked and Boudreaux joined him after being hit by a pitch, but Cecilia was unable to get a run across. Then in the fourth, Wallace Davis led off with a single and advanced to second base on a passed ball. Davis, though, was stranded as Breaux Bridge’s Alex Franks retired the next three batters to get out of the jam.
“We got leadoff hitters on twice and didn’t move them over,” Cecilia coach Jaime Calais said. “You have to capitalize on those opportunities against a team like Breaux Bridge.”
Breaux Bridge (18-3, 7-0) finally got to Cecilia starter Landon Credeur in the bottom of the fourth.
Alex Laviolette led off the inning and was hit by a pitch. He scored moments later on Tyler Thibodeaux’s a double. Franks singled and scored when Cole Mouton drew a bases-loaded walk.
The Tigers then took control by executing small ball in the bottom of the fifth inning.
Breaux Bridge scored four runs on five singles, two of those being bunt singles, and a sacrifice bunt.
“That is the way we play,” Cormier said. “We are not blessed to have guys that can hit it gap to gap. We have to play small ball. Our guys practice 15 live bunts every day at practice.”
The Tigers may have executed well, but Calais had a bone to pick with the umpire, as the longtime coach had a few heated words with the umpire that inning when he thought a batter had stepped out of the batter’s box while trying to bunt a ball, which is illegal.
“I just thought the call was wrong,” Calais said. “We as a staff thought one of their batters was a foot out of the box, and he didn’t call it. I thought that changed things for us.”
Cecilia scratched a run across in the top of the sixth as Boudreaux led off with a double in the gap and scored on a single by Kyle Guidry. The proved to be the Bulldogs’ final run as Franks gave up only one more hit, a single in the seventh, as he picked up the complete-game victory.
Franks gave up two runs on five hits with four strikeouts to earn the win, while Credeur was tagged with the loss after giving up six runs on nine hits.
“It has been a roller-coaster season for us,” said Calais, whose team hosts Abbeville on Tuesday. “We started hot but since then we haven’t been able to find consistency. These kids are working hard though, and we will figure it out.”
Breaux Bridge, meanwhile, returns to action Tuesday at rival St. Martinville. Even though the Tigers are in the driver’s seat for the district title, Cormier’s team is not looking ahead.
“We don’t take anybody for granted,” Cormier said. “We preach all the time to these kids to just worry about you are doing today. That’s what we plan on doing.”