LONGVILLE — One game away from the state baseball tournament for the first time in the program’s history, the magnitude of the moment was not lost on South Beauregard and coach Jeremy Devillie.
Unfortunately, baseball itself was unkind to the Purple Knights on Monday evening as a few unlucky bounces worked against No. 4 South Beauregard in a 5-1 loss to No. 4 Parkview Baptist in the Class 3A quarterfinals.
South Beauregard (25-5) never got the bats going against Parkview Baptist starter Adam Tarver, who threw only 88 pitches en route to a complete game.
That, coupled with a few unlucky bounces in the field for the Knights, gave Parkview Baptist (22-12) opportunities to put together big innings in the third and fifth to help the Eagles advance.
The Knights were able to piece together a run in the third inning to cut the lead to 3-1 but weren’t able to collect a hit after that.
“He kept us off balance the whole game,” Deville said of Tarver. “We had an inning there (the third) where we put up a run and kind of got the momentum back. But, offensively they did a great job. They shortened up and went the other way with the ball. They had (two big innings). They had the clutch hit and we didn’t.”
Meanwhile, the Eagles were able to get just enough of South Beauregard starter Nick Lee to make a difference in the game. After struggling a bit with Lee’s velocity in the first two innings, Parkview opened the scoring in the top of the third with a three-run burst, headlined by a Hayden Nickens two-RBI double.
In the bottom of the inning, Jansen Fontenot got on base thanks to a three-base error in the outfield to lead off the inning. Chance Clark followed with an RBI-single to cut the deficit to two runs.
Tarver took the reins from there for Parkview by limiting the amount of good swings South Beauregard took.
“What we’ve known all year is that we can pitch,” Parkview Baptist coach Darron Mitchell said. “This is the best team effort we’ve given this year. We’re very proud of our hitters. Tarver battled. He didn’t have his best stuff, but he found his curve later in the game.”
South Beauregard’s misfortune continued in the sixth inning, when Parkview’s Sam O’Brien started the rally with a triple that was just out of the diving reach of a South Beauregard outfielder. O’Brien scored shortly after, and Hunter Joubert drove in another run later in the inning for the winning margin.
“The ball just didn’t fall our way today,” Deville said.
Lee pitched well overall, striking out six and giving up seven hits in a complete game.
“He gives it a great effort every time he’s on that mound,” Deville said. “He did it again tonight. He gave us a great chance to win but they had timely hits that we didn’t get. He always gives us a chance to win. He’s a fierce competitor, man.”