LIVONIA — Port Barre remained undefeated in District 5-3A play after picking up a crucial 4-2 road victory over Livonia on Tuesday afternoon.
Red Devils pitcher Austin Lanclos dominated a young Livonia squad, firing 12 strikeouts in a complete game, while only allowing three hits.
Port Barre coach Craig Stevens said Lanclos’ performance showcased his pitcher’s toughness on the mound and when the Red Devils (11-8, 6-0) needed him to come through, he performed well.
“He threw his behind off (Tuesday), I tip my cap off to him,” Stevens said. “Early in the game, he was pretty dominant. There were some innings where he was a little shaky, but he got through them.”
Lanclos struck out six in the first three innings, without allowing a hit and only walking one.
Livonia coach Jason Lemoine said his young team had trouble at the plate, with Lanclos being one of the best pitchers his team has seen.
“We start four freshman, so there is always going to be a bit of learning curve,” Lemoine said. “Early in the game, we were swinging at a lot of high pitches, so we weren’t making him go deep in the count.”
Lemoine said the Wildcats made adjustments, causing Lanclos to work a little harder but couldn’t break through for a big inning.
“We haven’t faced that good of a pitcher all year,” Lemoine said. “He did a great job. He didn’t walk too many of us either.”
The right-hander did have trouble with three balks, baffling Stevens.
Stevens said Lanclos has not had trouble with balks this season and questioned the umpires’ judgment of the ruling.
“He said he was fiddling with it in his glove and restarting his motion, so that is what he was calling, I guess,” Stevens said.
“Once we talked we got it figured out, I just needed to keep grinding,” Lanclos said.
The Red Devils picked up their first run in the opening inning, with Lanclos picking up an RBI on a groundout to second base.
Port Barre scratched across runs in the third, fifth and seventh innings against Savoie, thanks in large part to the efforts of catcher Cy Bryson.
Bryson didn’t pick up a hit on the day, but reached base in all four of his at-bats. Bryson scored three of the Red Devils four runs and finished with three stolen bases.
“Everytime he gets to first we think we can get him to third because he’s so fast,” Stevens said. “You don’t always get a catcher who has speed, so it is a luxury.”
Even with an undefeated start and a two-game lead in the district race, Stevens said his team needs to remain focused.
“I told my team we have to finish it off, we have a tough game Thursday against Church Point, so we have to show up to play,” Stevens said.