South Terrebonne tops Terrebonne 2-1 in tournament opener
Fri. March 15, 2013 at 6:52 a.m. | By Steve Holley/Sports Correspondent
BOURG — It was a pitcher’s duel until the very end.
For six-plus innings, Terrebonne left-hander Austin Bollinger and South Terrebonne left-hander Sam White matched each other pitch for pitch on the mound.
Finally in the seventh inning, with the score tied at 1, South Terrebonne strung together two hits and a walk to load the bases for Gators leadoff hitter Cullen Bergeron, who was hit by a pitch from Tigers reliever Quinn Malbrough to force in the winning run as South Terrebonne rallied for a 2-1 victory on Thursday at The Swamp.
Both teams had trouble finding their offensive rhythms throughout the day, the first of the Terrebonne Parish Challenge.
Terrebonne (5-7 overall) took an early 1-0 lead on an RBI single to left from center fielder Derrick DeHart in the second inning. White settled down afterward and retired nine consecutive batters until Luke Bergeron reached on an infield single in the fifth.
A half-inning earlier, the Gators (5-10) tied the game after James LeBlanc snagged two bases, the latter of which was aided by an errant throw from Terrebonne catcher Gabe Veron that sailed into left field and allowed LeBlanc to score.
South Terrebonne started its eventual game-winning rally in the seventh with singles from right fielder Tyler Crochet and designated hitter Tony Billiot.
That prompted a pitching change, with Malbrough taking over on the hill and proceeding to walk Gators catcher Matt Benoit on four straight pitches.
At that point, Terrebonne coach Gus Brown elected to employ a five-man infield, using only two outfielders in hopes of gaining a better chance at stopping anything hit up the middle.
It was a sound strategy, but ultimately things never got that far as Malbrough hit Bergeron after going 1-1 in the count to bring in the winning run.
“We didn’t execute our pitches at the end,” Brown said. “Both of those guys that threw were considered our best pitchers, and we were just trying to go with the freshest arm, not that (Bollinger) was tired. You get a guy that hasn’t thrown any pitches (versus) a guy that’s up there with 83 pitches, and you just hoped that command would be there.”
Bollinger pitched 6 1/3 innings while being charged with two runs on six hits. He struck out five batters and walked two. Malbrough threw seven pitches in relief for Terrebonne.
“We had the bases loaded, so you don’t want to come out and hit into a double play or line into something on the first pitch and let all the momentum swing and then have it become an advantage to (Terrebonne),” Gators coach Sham Gabehart said. “We made (Bergeron) be very selective on what he was going to get early.”
White went the distance for South Terrebonne, allowing four hits and striking out three for the complete-game victory.
“We call him ‘Big Red’ and every time he pitches, we say, ‘Big Red struck again,’” Gabehart said. “He’s very consistent, and he’s a true pitcher that commands his stuff and changes speed. Even his fastball, he doesn’t throw it the same speed every time. We did a good job. The thing was, Terrebonne just made so many tremendous plays in the field that we never could get any momentum going (at the plate).”
LeBlanc (2-for-3) had two hits to lead South Terrebonne at the plate.
Xavier Washington (2-for-3) doubled and singled to lead Terrebonne.
Terrebonne’s Justin Williams, an LSU commitment, started the game at shortstop but left some time after the third inning with an apparent quad injury. Williams was 0-for-2 with a groundout.
Today in the tournament, Houma Christian is at South Terrebonne (4 p.m.), Covenant Christian Academy is at H.L. Bourgeois (4 p.m.), East St. John is at Terrebonne (4 p.m.) and Houma Christian plays Covenant Christian Academy at 7 p.m. at Terrebonne’s Field behind Southdown Elementary School.
EAST ST. JOHN 13,
H.L. BOURGEOIS 9
At the Terrebonne Parish Challenge from Gray, the Braves fell to 5-6 overall, and Jeremy Daigle (five innings) got the start on the mound.
Nick Bonvillain worked in relief.