SULPHUR — They weren’t by no means a Cinderella, but the clock finally struck midnight on the Lakeshore High School baseball team.
Never leading in the game, the No. 2 Titans lost 8-3 to No. 3 Breaux Bridge on Sunday in the Class 4A state semifinals at McMurry Park.
No. 3 Breaux Bridge (33-6) advances to the 4A title game at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday to take on top-seeded Tioga.
“In a game like this, sometimes whoever strikes first kind of sets the tone,” Lakeshore coach Steve Ceravolo said.
Breaux Bridge struck first, scoring three runs on two hits in the second inning off Titans starter Chris Olivier. The inning was highlighted by a two-run single by starting pitcher Caleb Seroski.
The bottom of the order struck again in the fourth inning, via an RBI single by Gage Colligan to make it 4-1, before the Tigers broke the game open in the sixth with three runs on three hits, taking control at 7-1.
“We walked too many batters and hit too many of their guys,” Ceravolo said. “Five of them ended up scoring. You can’t defend that. I thought in the first couple of innings it may have been some nerves, but when you take it into the sixth inning, it is what it is. We were just trying to make contact as opposed to driving the baseball.
“Nerves are normal. I passed by the Breaux Bridge guys before the game started and they looked like they were getting their heads cut off. That’s natural, especially for teams that haven’t been here before.”
Down 3-0, Lakeshore cut it to 3-1 in the second. With one out Devin Weilbacher walked and advanced to second on a balk. Advancing to third base on a single by Nicky Maus, Weilbacher scored on a groundout by Norris McClure.
That would be the last threat for Lakeshore until the seventh against Seroski, when it pushed across two runs on three hits, ending the game on a bases-loaded groundout by Jacob Bernard.
“We got three hits through six and three in the seventh,” Ceravolo said. “For six innings we had too many bad at-bats.”
Lakeshore concluded its season with a school record 33 wins against five defeats.
“The things this 2019 squad accomplished as a team were incredible,” Ceravolo said. “We aren’t going to be able to replace seven seniors, but there is a solid nucleus coming back. Our seniors carried us this far and now the focus is going to be on finding some new guys to carry us just as far next year. But this was a very special season. We attained all of our goals except one.”
The loss also concludes the end of the prep career of one of the best overall athletes in the New Orleans area in Bernard. An all-state performer in football, soccer and baseball, Bernard helped the Titans play for a state championship in football in 2017 and a state soccer championship in 2019. The all-everything senior is headed to UL to play both football and baseball.
“It’s a sad feeling,” Bernard said. “I don’t really want to leave Lakeshore. My best friends are here. We have built a small dynasty in athletics here at Lakeshore High and hopefully the players behind me in all the sports can build upon it.”