LAKE CHARLES — With two outs and Barbe and Live Oak tied, Bucs Coach Glenn Cecchini aggressively waved two base runners home from second base in the top of the seventh inning.
Kirkland Banks and Peyton Doumite both scored to start a four-run spurt that propelled Barbe past Live Oak 6-2 and into the quarterfinal round of the Class 5A baseball state playoffs Saturday.
Although fifth-seeded Barbe (28-9) swept 12th-seeded Live Oak (21-12) in the three-game second-round series, the Bucs had to score in the seventh to win both games. Barbe beat Live Oak in last year’s state championship. The Bucs advanced to a quarterfinal matchup with No. 4 Lafayette, which swept Acadiana.
“Last night and today (Barbe) just absolutely killed us with two outs,” Live Oak coach Greg Briggs said.
“Zach (Hansen) goes out in the last inning, and he throws maybe seven pitches and they’ve got two outs with nobody on and they just battled and put up a four spot and that was it.
“We’re not built to come back and score four runs in an inning. That’s not how we’re built, and it’s not how we play.”
With two outs and Banks on second base, Doumite hit a ball just past the outstretched arm of Live Oak shortstop Michael Claverie into left field.
“I knew I could get the job done because I want to have the at-bat to win the game every game,” Doumite said. “He threw me a few pitches and I took them, then I looked back at the facility before the last pitch to remember all the times I’ve put in work with my team. It just helped to give me a boost of confidence and I got the hit.”
Banks headed for second, but Cecchini waved him home, even though it looked like a close play at home.
The throw from left field was a little off, and Banks strolled in.
“I was seeing coach Glenn telling me to run, so I was trying to run my fastest and get a good angle on third, after that turn on the jets and score,” Banks said. “We’ve always been an aggressive team.”
When shortstop Braden Comeaux followed with a single up the middle, Cecchini played aggressive again, sending Doumite home from second.
“It’s all odds and percentages; we’re going to take a chance,” Cecchini said. “If a guy makes a perfect throw and we’re out, then we’ll live with that.
“We were aggressive, and it worked out. We always say we’re going to play to win, we’re not going to play not to lose.”
Comeaux and right fielder Marshall Alexander added runs before the inning was over.
Pitcher Brant McNease, who took over for Tyler Booth in the fifth inning, struck out the last four batters he faced to earn the win.
“I was really pitching backwards almost,” McNease said. “Coach told me at the beginning of the game the fastball in is really effective. They were taking it because they were down four runs or however many. I got the first one over, then got them looking, got them fooled. That’s what pitchers do.”
The last two Live Oak batters went down looking.