The off-the-field events Wednesday that altered the outcome of a District 8-3A baseball game a day earlier added a greater sense of urgency toward Erath’s cause this week.
Instead of heading into the final two-game league series in a tie as believed, the Bobcats learned they still trailed E.D. White by one game.
“It will be real important for us,” Erath coach Jeremy Picard said.
“We would have liked to have had the win stand, but our kids are ready and prepared to win against them.”
When Erath (24-6, 8-2) faces E.D. White (24-4, 9-1) in a top-four battle of Class 3A’s top teams in the LHSAA power rankings, the Bobcats must sweep the Cardinals in order to win the District 8-3A championship.
The two teams are scheduled to play at 6 p.m. Thursday at Erath’s Bobcat Field, but in case of inclement weather will move to Louisiana-Lafayette’s Tigue Moore Field at 4 p.m.
Erath appeared to be on equal footing when E.D. White lost 10-3 in 10 innings to Berwick on Tuesday.
However, the game was reversed Wednesday to a 7-0 forfeit win in E.D. White’s favor after it was discovered Berwick exceeded the LHSAA’s mandated nine-inning maximum a pitcher can throw in a game, Picard said.
Given the area’s soggy forecast, it helped to set the stage for what could be an unpredictable next three days.
Erath will travel Saturday to E.D. White for what the Bobcats hope will be a winner-take-all contest at 11 a.m.
Picard, a former Erath assistant, has guided Erath to a new single-season record for wins in his first season.
The Bobcats have been a model of consistency, losing consecutive games once this season during a challenging Barbe Tournament against Notre Dame and Teurlings Catholic.
“We changed our style of play offensively, but I was fortunate to come into a situation where I had eight seniors to count on,” Picard said. “They’ve been there and are experienced.
“I’m also fortunate to have several guys on my coaching staff to help grow as a head coach my first year and do good things at Erath.”
Erath’s kept its district-title chances alive by responding to losses against Berwick (6-3) and Kaplan (9-2) and have won eight out of its past nine games.
Picard said senior Luke Young (5-1, 0.863 ERA) will start Thursday with Bren Faulk (8-1, 1.267) and Mason Granger (4-1, 3.14) figuring into Saturday’s pitching plans.
Center fielder Chandler LeBlanc (.443, 13 RBIs) tops the Bobcats offensively followed by Granger — a shortstop when not pitching — (.421, six doubles, 34 RBIs) and designated hitter Andre Touchet (.410, 14 doubles, 34 RBIs).
“We never concern ourselves with the opponent across the way,” Picard said. “I believe if we play our game we have a chance to beat anybody we play.
“We have to show up, be focused and take care of the baseball.”