SULPHUR — It didn't take long for top-seeded Doyle’s 50-inning scoreless streak to end. Loreauville scored a run in the top of the first inning.
But the Livingston Parish-based Tigers responded immediately with their bats and notched an 11-1, five-inning victory in a Class 2A semifinal that closed Wednesday’s action at the LHSAA Baseball tournament at McMurry Park.
“I think giving up that run so early was kind of my fault for talking about the fact that we had not given up a run,” Doyle coach Tim Beatty said. “That was on me. I also think there were some big-game nerves.
“But hey, we did not panic. This group doesn’t panic because it is a mature team with a lot of seniors. You figure, we’ve got to score anyway and that is what we did.”
The victory puts Doyle (28-8) in a title-game showdown against No. 2 Rosepine (28-5), a 9-5 winner over Mangham in the other 2A semifinal also played Wednesday. The 2A final is set for 10 a.m. Friday.
A three-RBI double by Tyson Stewart in the second inning and Abedn Kennedy’s three-run home run in the fourth inning punctuated what Beatty called his team’s best offensive effort in “a while.” The Tigers finished with nine hits.
“I knew it off the bat. I hit a fastball that was outside,” said Kennedy, the DHS designated hitter. “I am a fastball hitter and I’ll hit it anywhere it is pitched if it looks good.
“Two years ago we came here and failed. So we were all locked in today and knew what to expect. We were going to do whatever we needed to do to win.”
Jahari Williams singled in the top of the first and came in to score when Devin Verrett hit into a fielder’s choice to give Loreauvlle a 1-0 lead. Starter Riley Marcotte walked two of the first three Doyle batters he faced in the bottom of the first.
Stewart brought home one run with a sacrifice fly and Braden McLin’s RBI single scored the other run, giving Doyle a lead it would never relinquish.
Andrew Yuratich pitched the first two innings and Hunter Bankston came in as planned to handle the final three innings.
Missing a postseason a year ago because of the pandemic gave Doyle an extra year to ponder a 2019 title-game loss. And to work.
“We didn’t get to play last year, but a lot of work got put in,” Kennedy said. "Now we get to show it.”