ST. MARTINVILLE — The Cecilia Bulldogs just couldn’t afford to drop a district game.
The Bulldogs (15-3, 4-1 in District 5-4A) entered Friday’s District 5-4A baseball contest at St. Martinville having won four in a row and nine out of its past 10, but have key games coming against two of the state’s powers in Teurlings Catholic and St. Thomas More.
“This game meant a lot to us,” Cecilia’s 14th-year coach Jamie Calais said after his team’s 10-8 win. “It would have made a lot harder with Teurlings Catholic and St. Thomas More back-to-back.”
The Bulldogs No. 11 in the latest LHSAA power rankings and are in the mix for the district championship, having dropped only one district game, a 12-0 defeat to Teurlings.
Cecilia kept things rolling Friday by recovering from an early deficit to hold off a scrappy St. Martinville squad.
“Our kids did a good job of keeping their composure,” Calais said. “We were just trying to keep it a one-run game. We just tried to do that every inning.”
Cecilia didn’t waste any time getting on the scoreboard.
Bulldogs leadoff hitter Landon Roberts laced a single, and two batters later Sage Calais got on base with another single. A Kyle Guidry sacrifice brought in Roberts and then Calais scored on Kale Boudreaux’s single.
Cecilia added two more in the second inning for a seemingly comfortable 4-0 lead.
St. Martinville responded with a six-run bottom of the second as the Tigers batted around.
Collin Guidry led off with a single and scored on Ryan Oubre’s single that was proved to be just out of reach of Cecilia shortstop Randy Guidry. Jake Cyr doubled, and both Cyr and Oubre scored on a blistering single up the middle by Blake Bonin.
Matthew Hulin reached first on a fielder’s choice as Bonin was thrown out. Cy Guidry beat out the throw to get on with an infield single. That’s when Reece Frederick cleared the base paths with a three-run homer over the left field wall for a 6-4 Tigers lead.
“I think the second inning got away from us,” Calais said. “We missed a routine fly ball that got things rolling for them. But give them credit, they took advantage.”
Cecilia tied the game in the fourth without getting a hit as St. Martinville pitcher Cyr hit two of the first three batters he faced, and walked the other. The Bulldogs scored on a passed ball and a sacrifice fly.
St. Martinville (10-7, 3-2) reclaimed the lead in the fifth. Collin Guidry had a one-out single and scored two batters later on an Oubre sacrifice fly.
“We just did what we’ve have been trying to do all year,” Tigers coach Mike Lemoine said. “We just look for good pitches to hit.”
St. Martinville junior Tate Courville replaced Cyr on the mound to start the sixth and Cecilia responded with its most productive inning at the plate. The Bulldogs batted around and scored four runs on five hits in the inning.
“(Courville) needs a little more seasoning, but I thought he pitched well,” Lemoine said. “I just think they put the ball in play.”
Trailing 10-7, St. Martinville tried to rally in the bottom of the seventh as Collin Guidry led off with a triple into the left field corner. Dugas brought him home with a deep sacrifice fly to left-center field, but that was all the Tigers could muster as the next two batters grounded out to end the game.
Bailey Lasseigne picked up the win after giving up eight runs on 14 hits with two hit batters. Courville took the loss after giving up four runs on five hits. He walked one batter and hit another.
Cecilia hosts St. Thomas More at 4 p.m. Tuesday, while St. Martinville plays at Teurlings Catholic at 4 p.m. Tuesday.
As the Bulldogs prepare for next week’s daunting schedule, the Tigers will look to keep reaching their weekly goals.
“We have set weekly goals all season,” Lemoine said. “We want to have a winning record every week, which we did this week by going 2-1. And we don’t want to lose in two in a row. Now that will be hard playing Teurlings on Tuesday, but that is our goal.”