SULPHUR — Teurlings Catholic jumped out to an early lead and never looked back in Thursday’s Class 4A semifinal.
The five-time state baseball champion put two runs in the first and added three more in the third as the No. 5 seed Teurlings Catholic cruised to a 16-1 victory over No. 1 seed Tioga at the Allstate Sugar Bowl/LHSAA State Baseball tournament on Field 41 at McMurry Park Thursday afternoon.
Teurlings Catholic will face the No. 2 St. Thomas More, which beat. 6 St. Michael the Archangel 12-2, in Saturday’s championship game. First pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m.
“That was amazing,” Teurlings Catholic coach Mike Thibodeaux said. “I expected a one- or two-run ballgame. It was just that we caught lightning in a bottle. We have been talking about what we can do when we put everything together, and we finally did that (Thursday). It was the biggest offensive output we’ve had all season. What a perfect time.”
Teurlings wasted no time getting to Tioga freshman pitcher Dylan Coburn.
Nathan Arceneaux led off the game with an infield single and two batters later Austin Kirkpatrick doubled off the left field wall. After a sacrifice bunt by Nicolas Webre, Caleb Lasseigne dropped a hit over third base that scored two runs.
Tioga scratched a run across in the bottom of the second as Zach Hornsby reached on an error and scored two batters later on a double off the left field wall by Devon Roy.
Teurlings responded with three runs in the top of the third.
Arceneaux led off the inning with a single and scored on a Webre single. A double by Caleb Lasseigne scored Webre. The Rebels second baseman then scored on Jonathan Fontenot’s single. That was the final batter Coburn faced as he was pulled for Jordan Thompson.
The Rebels added four more runs in the fifth, another in the sixth before blowing the game wide open with six runs in the top of the seventh, including a grand slam by Jacob Richard.
“I haven’t seen that since the 2012 state championship game,” Thibodeaux said. “That game was very similar where we laid bunts down, we pitched well and played good enough defense but offensively we just went off. I haven’t seen that in a while.”
The Rebels were led at the plate by Webre who went 4-for-5 with four runs, Lasseigne went 3-for-5 with four RBIs and Arceneaux was 3-for-5 with two runs.
Meanwhile, Teurlings’ Josh Taylor picked up the victory as he scattered eight hits and one run over seven innings. Coburn took the loss after giving up five runs on seven hits in 2.2 innings.
“It is a credit to them that they had as many hits as they did,” Thibodeaux said. “Josh has not given up that many hits. So hats off to Tioga, but Josh has been our ace all season. He is a gutsy guy, and he came out (Thursday) and delivered for us.
The Rebels advance to the championship game for the first time since 2012, when Teurlings Catholic beat Holy Cross 11-1 to win the title.
Thibodeaux said in between semifinal games that it doesn’t matter who is team will face.
“I am just glad to be back in the state championship game,” Thibodeaux said. “We will take whoever it is that comes out of this next ballgame. Two fine ballclubs. Obviously STM has had our number. We always fight tooth and nail with them, and they always come out on top. It would be great for the city of Lafayette, but honestly my job is to get these guys ready to play.”