Senior right-fielder John Thomas Mauldin smashed a game-winning RBI single in the bottom of the seventh inning to give St. Michael the Archangel a 9-8 come-from-behind baseball win over Lutcher on Thursday at St. Michael.
It was the third career game-winning hit for Mauldin, an LSU-Eunice baseball signee.
St. Michael (19-9, 6-0) had already clinched the District 6-4A baseball title by defeating Lutcher 7-0 on Monday. St. Michael has won or shared six straight district titles. Defending state champion Lutcher falls to 11-16 and 3-3.
“Lutcher really pushed us today,” St. Michael coach Johnny Bernhard said. “I challenged the team to finish district unbeaten. There are not many teams in the state that can say that at the end of the day. Our seniors really stepped up.”
Lutcher scored two runs in the top of the third as Bailey Brack had an RBI single and Gavin Englade scored from third on an errant pickoff attempt.
The Bulldogs added five runs in the top of the fifth to pull ahead 7-0. Cameron Guillot drew a bases loaded walk to score the third run. Peyton Bourgeois drove in three runs with a bases loaded triple and later scored on a wild pitch.
The Warriors clawed back into the game with five runs in the fifth and two each in the sixth and seventh.
Austin Edens had an RBI. Mauldin doubled and Wade Broussard singled to drive in two runs each for St. Michael in the fifth.
William Kramer’s RBI single put Lutcher up 8-5 in the top of the sixth. The Bulldogs committed two of their five errors in the bottom of the sixth. Christopher Reid’s RBI single pulled SMHS within 8-7.
In the bottom of the seventh, Reid’s RBI single tied the game. Edens was hit by pitch to load the bases and Mauldin came to the plate. He connected with a first-pitch curveball to left field.
“I hit the ball to an open area,” Mauldin said. “We accomplished one of our goals by finishing undefeated in district. I was getting worried in the top of the fifth, but we started hitting after that and got the win.”
Mauldin, Reid and Zach Harris had two hits each for St. Michael. Kyle Cannatella had three hits. Laine Fontenot pitched the first four innings for the Warriors. Tyler Pitre (1-0) worked the last three innings. Englade and Luke Zeringue had two hits each for the Bulldogs. Cameron Guillot worked 4.2 innings. Reliever Englade took the loss.
“We were more emotionally into this game than we were in the first meeting with St. Michael,” Lutcher coach Davey Clement said. “We came out and battled but our five errors really hurt.”
Both teams are hoping for strong playoff showings. The Class 4A pairings will be released next week.
“Our pitching has been good most of the year and we’re hitting the ball better the last few weeks,” Clement said.
“I think Lutcher can make some noise in the playoffs,” Bernhard said. “We’ll take it one game at a time. I like my team.”