Nine hours after securing an alternate site for its Class 1A state regional playoff baseball game Hanson Memorial appeared to be right at home at Louisiana-Lafayette’s M.L. “Tigue” Moore Field.
“The kids are resilient,” Hanson coach Ryan Stoute said. “Our kids get excited to play at (big) venues, and that’s why we’ve put them in nicer venues when we can. If a situation like this occurs, you can handle it.”
Fifth-seeded Hanson promptly settled in, batted around three times in the top of the first inning, scored 15 times and was off an running toward a 25-0 mercy-rule victory in five innings Monday over No. 21 Southern Lab.
The Tigers (23-6) will host the St. Mary’s -Catholic-Pointe Coupee winner in a quarterfinal at a time to be determined Friday.
“I thought the (big) lights got to Southern Lab early,” Stoute said of the Kittens, who upset Westminster Christian 6-5 in the first round. “They kicked it around a little to open the floodgates, and our kids looked poised.”
Southern Lab was originally going to host the game at Pete Goldsby Field in Baton Rouge before trying to move it to Port Allen High School.
Because of heavy rains in the area Monday, Stoute got the game moved to Moore Field, which wound up hosting a triple-header along with Acadiana-Lafayette and Central Catholic-Morgan City-Grand Lake.
Stoute said Hanson’s game began at 9 p.m. with his Tigers going to work in the first inning with 15 runs on nine hits. They also took advantage of three walks and several errors.
Hanson added two runs in the second, one in the third and closed out the game with seven runs in the fifth.
The game was held up for approximately 20 minutes when the automatic timer on Moore Field’s lights shut off.
“They really came out and did what we asked them to do,” Stoute said of his team’s 14 hits. “We swung the bats well. You would expect to get some lag, but the kids really performed well in a very adverse situation.”
Catcher Bo Barrilleaux, a Baton Rouge Community College signee, and first baseman Bren Young each had two hits, right fielder Spencer Bishop had a bases-clearing double and third baseman Britt Young doubled in a pair of runs.
Hanson utilized a pitcher-by-committee approach that combined on a one-hit performance and allowed Southern Lab two base runners. Winning pitcher John Guienze (10-2), Bren Young and Josh Sanchez each pitched an inning, while Evan Thibodeaux pitched two.
“We wanted to command the strike zone,” Stoute said. “We heard they stole a lot bases, so we didn’t to let them get on base. We moved Bo to catcher, our pitchers threw strikes and played defense behind them.”