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Terriers fall 10-6 in second round of baseball playoffs

Cole Avery

The (Monroe) News Star

MONROE — A steady day at the plate backed up by solid pitching and even better defense helped No. 3 West Ouachita advance to the Class 4A quarterfinals with a 10-6 win over No. 14 Vandebilt Catholic on Saturday at West Ouachita in second round action.

West Ouachita (27-9) jumped on the Terriers (24-7) in the bottom of the first inning, scoring three runs off of two throwing errors.

Peyton Barrios put Vandebilt on the board in the top of the second with a solo shot over the left-field wall. Barrios went 2-for-3 in the game with a home run, a single and an RBI.

The Chiefs, who will take on No. 6 Tioga (26-9) at 6 p.m. Monday at home in the quarterfinals, answered in the bottom of the second inning with a big hit of their own. Freshman shortstop Zach Watson knocked a triple to the center-field wall to score Bradley Robinson, who reached on a walk.

The triple was just one of two extra base hits the Chiefs recorded in the game. Brandon Hobbs hit the other — an RBI double to left field in the bottom of the third.

But the Chiefs didn’t need the power. West Ouachita recorded 12 hits in the game and scored in five of their six innings at the plate. “Having some speed puts pressure on them,” West Ouachita Mitchell Thomas said. “We did a nice job playing small ball. We can bunt and run, but at the same time we’ve got some guys that can hit in the gap.”

Watson went 2-for-4 on the day with a triple, a single and three RBIs. Clay LaBeff went 2-for-3 with three singles and an RBI. Joseph Tassin went 2-for-3 with two singles, and Chris Crowson reached base all four appearances, going 2-for-3 with a walk.

Vandebilt managed 10 hits in the game, led by Josh Bergeron who went 4-for-4 with three doubles and a single.

But West Ouachita kept them from scoring throughout most of the game. The Terriers stranded seven runners on the bags, five of them in scoring position.

“We’ve been successful with runners in scoring position all year,” Vandebilt coach Corey Sullivan said. “The difference is they made the plays and the pitches when they had to.”

One of those big defensive plays came in the top of the third inning when Tassin threw the ball on a rope from right field to get the runner at the plate.

“I thought that play was huge,” Thomas said. “I thought that took all the momentum and gave it to us. Joseph, early, was really big because they had started getting a little momentum.”

The Terriers also had to contend with a strong showing from Chief starter Jordan Antley. Antley pitched 6 1/3 innings in the win, allowing six runs with six strike outs and three walks.

Vandebilt trailed 10-2 entering the seventh inning but managed to score four more before the game ended. Sullivan commended his team for fighting until the end.

Vandebilt won its first playoff game since 2010 in the first round of the playoffs this season. It also captured a district title and posted more than 20 wins. Sullivan commended his five seniors for what they helped accomplished this season.

“I really believe they have laid the foundation for us. They may not realize that now, but later on down the road they’ll realize the importance of what they did this year,” Sullivan said.Terriers fall 10-6 in playoffs