SULPHUR — After years of knocking at the door, E.D. White is back in the state championship game.
The second-seeded Cardinals beat 11th-seeded Brusly 4-0 Friday night in the semifinals of the Class 3A state baseball playoffs.
“We’re not accepting anything less than being here,” E.D. White coach Shane Trosclair said. “We’re here and it’s time to go win one more.”
The Cardinals have reached the quarterfinals or the semifinals every year since 2008 and haven’t won a state title since racking up four straight from 1998 to 2001.
E.D. White (28-4) will play fifth-seeded Parkview Baptist (19-17), which knocked off top seed and defending state champion North DeSoto 11-0 in the other semifinal.
The first pitch is 1 p.m. Saturday at McMurry Park.
Trosclair said he plans to send Peyton Coddou (9-1) to the mound against Parkview.
Brusly (26-8) was denied its first trip back to the state title game since 2010.
“This is their fourth game of the playoffs, and they’ve given up no runs yet,” Brusly coach Tait Dupont said. “We knew that going in, and they’re going to throw another good guy (Saturday).”
Scott Szush (13-0) struck out 10 in a complete game, getting a double play behind him in the top of the seventh to quell any thoughts of a Brusly rally.
“Scott Szush had a monkey on his back,” Trosclair said. “Last year he got here and lost 2-1 in the semifinals. He told me before the game, ‘Get me three runs.’ ”
Brusly had runners on the corners with one out and the top of the order up to bat in the top of the third inning, but Szush struck out Brusly leadoff batter Kwanston Adkins and got Blake Manola to hit into a groundout.
“We knew Szush was a real good pitcher and it was going to be a low-scoring game,” Dupont said. “We weren’t able to get the clutch hits tonight. We had a couple opportunities and we couldn’t get the runs in and that’s pretty much the story of the game.”
Brusly pitcher Taylor Prejean (10-2) gave up five hits in the loss.
E.D. White, which had six stolen basesl attacked in the top of the third inning, scoring three runs.
Brusly nearly got the first two batters of the inning out, but Panthers catcher Landon Andre was called for catcher’s interference, allowing the Cardinals’ Jace Toups to stay on base.
“I asked my catcher and he said, ‘Yeah, it did hit my mitt,’ ” Dupont said.
Toups went on to score on leadoff batter Nick Falgout’s stand-up double to center field. Brett Duet brought Falgout home, then scored on Logan Barbera’s RBI single to center field.
“We were able to hit that double in the gap and that was a big hit for us,” Trosclair said. “We were able to pick up three runs in the third just by putting pressure on them.”
E.D. White beat Brusly in back-to-back District 7-3A games, topping the Panthers 3-2 on March 19, then again 8-4 on March 21.