SULPHUR — Live Oak baseball coach Greg Briggs watched his team put together a magical run to the state championship game. A lack of runs halted the Cinderella run.
Top-seeded Barbe High scored runs in all but one inning and got solo home runs from Beau Jordan and Shane Selman en route to a 7-1 victory over 10th-seeded Live Oak in the Class 5A title game that helped highlight the final day of the Louisiana High School Athletic Association State Baseball tournament.
It was the 27th straight win for the Bucs (39-2), who are ranked first nationally. It also was the Lake Charles-based school’s seventh state title in the 5A era. Freshman left-hander Adam Goree (13-0) overcame a shaky first inning and a challenging seventh to fashion a three-hitter with nine strikeouts in the game at McMurry Park.
“They scored in every inning but the fifth,” Briggs said of Barbe. “They had the momentum, and we couldn’t stop it. We thought we had slowed it down a little bit, but they got two more in the sixth.
“He (Goree) strung together a bunch of zeros. I’m proud of my guys. We battled, but three hits aren’t going to get anybody, especially not a team like them.”
LSU signee Beau Jordan was voted the Outstanding Player after going 2-for-4 with a home run. The BHS left fielder stole home to open the scoring. Twin brother Bryce Jordan, also an LSU signee, was 2-for-3.
“I’m actually really shocked,” he said. “I mean look at the game Adam Goree threw. Three hits, walked a couple of people and only gave up one run. I’m truly blessed to have that award.”
LSU commit Lenni Kunert, Justin Webb and Gage Lockwood each had one hit for Live Oak (31-10), making its first trip to the 5A tourney. Hunter Merritt (6-4) took the loss.
“It never gets old,” Barbe coach Glenn Cecchini said. “Look at these guys. See how much they love one another. I’m just so proud of them. What is amazing is that this is our seventh state championship, and everybody knows that seven is a biblical number.
“It took seven days to create the earth. It is our seventh game on this field (McMurry Park No. 41), and it’s our seventh win. It’s just amazing. It’s a perfect and whole complete number.”
An odd footnote was that Goree, a left-hander might have broke his right wrist in the postgame celebration after breaking down LOHS’ hitters most of the day.
Live Oak loaded the bases in and scored its only run in the top of the first. Three walks by Goree were pivotal. Kunert led off with a single and was sacrificed to second by Webb.
Michael Claverie, Gage Lockwood and Brady Morris later drew walks. The walk to Morris scored Kunert.
Barbe got aggressive in the bottom of the first and evened the score.
Beau Jordan reached on an infield hit, was sacrificed to second by Bryce Jordan. Kennon Fontenot walked.
Braedan Barrett chopped the ball in front of the plate, advancing both runners. Jordan then stole home to tie the game on a 1-1 count to Gunner Leger.
Home runs gave the Bucs the lead. Shane Selman hit his second homer in as many days to left field to lead off the second. Beau Jordan led off the bottom of the third with a solo home run well over the fence in left center.
Bryce Jordan walked and Kennon Fontenot bunted for a sacrifice and reached on an error. Leger’s sacrifice fly scored another run to make it 4-1.
The-run-an-inning theme continued for Barbe in the fourth. Nick Abshire walked, was sacrificed to second by Braden Comeaux and scored on a single by Bryce Jordan. Live Oak brought Claverie in to relieve Merritt. The Bucs loaded the bases, but Claverie got a groundout to end the inning.
It was 5-1, and Goree had found his stride. The left-hander struck out all three Live Oak batters he faced in the fourth and set down the Eagles in order in the fifth.
LOHS got its second hit in the sixth when Lockwood singled to left with one out. Jared Forrest was hit by a pitch. Hopes for a rally evaporated when Braden Comeaux fielded a grounder up the middle by Brady Morris and turned it a double play to end the inning.
LOHS loaded the bases again in the top of the seventh with two outs. Webb had a hit, while Colby Freneaux was hit by a pitch and Tyler Alexander walked. Goree got a pop-up to end it.
“A lot of teams would have loved to be in our position today playing against the No. 1 team in the state, and in my opinion the No. 1 team in the country,” Briggs said. “(Barbe) won, but I wouldn’t trade my team for anybody. They’re special.