LAFAYETTE — When Acadiana baseball coach Jay Hodges saw the wind was blowing out on Thursday afternoon at Lafayette High, he had a short set of instructions for his starting pitcher, Tanner Broussard.
“They (the Lions) will score some runs,” Hodges said. “We needed Tanner to keep the ball down and get some ground balls.”
That helped the Rams secure a 6-2 win over Lafayette in District 3-5A play.
After Acadiana grabbed a 1-0 lead in the top of the first, Lafayette leadoff hitter Antoine Duplantis reached second on a stolen base. Broussard retired the next two hitters on a grounder to third and a roller back to the mound to preserve the lead.
“I felt like I was in a good rhythm,” Broussard said. “I know I’m not a strikeout pitcher. “I’m just as happy to get a flyout or a groundout as a strikeout.”
The Rams (12-8, 4-1) expanded their lead in the top of the third with three runs on three hits.
Ethan Bellman started the frame by smacking a single to left. John Joslin reached on an error before cleanup hitter Hill Babineaux kept the ball rolling by placing a bunt down the third base line for a hit that loaded the bases. Derek Boutin’s sacrifice fly doubled the Ram lead to 2-0. Acadiana added two more runs on a single by Broussard and a double from Jacob Landry.
“I like how we competed,” Hodges said. “We made mistakes, but we didn’t hang our heads and we bounced back. We put the ball in play and made them make some plays.”
The Rams picked up two runs in the seventh thanks to a pair of hits and a couple of walks. Babineaux started the inning with a single. The two walks loaded the bases with one out. Landry sent a chopper to third that bounced high over the head of Lafayette third baseman Branson Audette.
Lafayette coach Sam Taulli had more than the hits in mind when he pondered the Rams’ rallies.
“We were our own worst enemy,” Taulli said. “We had six walks and three errors. You can’t give any team in our district nine free baserunners.”
Boutin relieved Broussard on the mound for Acadiana and he closed out the win by setting down the Lions in order in the seventh on a popout, a strikeout and an infield liner to second.
Broussard was the winning pitcher thanks to a five-hit, two-run effort over five innings. Landry went 3-for-4 with three RBIs for the Rams.
A handful of Lions each had a hit in the loss. Emile Lege had a double. Duplantis was 1-for 4 with a stolen base. Lafayette dropped to (16-5, 4-1) with the defeat.
“We cut it to 4-2 and I thought we could get back in the game,” Taulli said. “Boutin came in and got ahead in the count. “There are no days off in our district ... even on Good Friday.”