Synergy Bank to play for Swampland title



BERWICK — Back-to-back-to-back ringing extra base hits in the bottom of the first inning helped E.D. White Catholic-based Synergy Bank back into the Swampland Baseball League championship game.

A triple by Seth Gravois and consecutive doubles by Scottie Sanders and Justin Theriot helped No. 1 Synergy Bank to an early lead over Central Lafourche-based Jester's Court, the fourth seed, and that led to a 5-1 Synergy Bank win on Tuesday night in the Swampland semifinals.

No. 2 Berwick-based Taco Bell topped the Terrebonne-based Diamondbacks, the three seed, 2-0, in another semifinal on Tuesday.

That means Synergy Bank, which fell in the finals last season, and Taco Bell will play at 5 today in the Swampland title game. Jester's Court ended the summer at 9-6.

After the three-run first inning put Synergy ahead 3-1, its starting pitcher Brennan Legendre (win, 6 1/3 innings, run on 10 hits, five strikeouts, no walks) scattered seven hits the rest of the way to lead the team to the win.

"Everything was up in the zone in the first inning, and I wasn't getting my curve ball over," said Legendre, who allowed a run in the top of the first. "My assistant coach told me to work the slider, and I got it over for the rest of the game. I pitched around the plate. Last year we made it to the championship, but fell short. I wanted to take the ball (Tuesday) and get my team back there because it's my last year of summer (ball)."

Thomas Kliebert (2/3 of an inning) got the final two outs for Synergy with two strikeouts and a walk. Synergy committed an error in 15 chances in the field.

"Pitching and defense, that's the Cardinal way," Synergy Bank coach Shane Trosclair said. "It's the E.D. White way. Those guys hit some balls hard, but our defense was there behind Brennan. We were playing for a state championship six weeks ago, and some of those guys were in the dugout, and some were on the field. We are excited to be playing for another championship (today)." Despite the loss, Jester's Court coach Scott Duplantis said he was proud of the way Austin Aucoin (five innings, two runs, five hits, four strikeouts, two walks, hit batter) pitched in relief of starter Nick Naquin (loss, one inning, three runs, three hits, strikeout, no walks).

"They are a great ball club," Duplantis said of Synergy Bank. "They put 19 runs up on us the last time we played, and they started this game just like they finished the last one. They were crushing the ball. We made a quick pitching change, and Austin Aucoin pitched his butt off. He did a great job holding that team to two runs in six innings."

Jester's Court had 10 hits, but stranded 11 runners on base.

"We hit a lot of balls on the button," Duplantis said. "A lot of things could have gone our way that didn't, but I liked the way we competed every minute of the ball game. We had a slow start to the summer, but we settled in and played a lot better. It was a pretty good summer for us."

Jester's Court got its run in the first inning after Chandler Richard (2-for-3) singled and scored on a single by Logan Alleman (2-for-3). Aucoin added two hits for Jester's Court.

Synergy Bank added a run in the fourth to make it 4-1 after a bunt single by Allen Frost scored a run, and Kliebert (2-for-3) added an RBI single that scored Theriot in the sixth inning to make it 5-1. Frank Robichaux was also 1-for-2 with an RBI for Synergy Bank.

Past winners of the Swampland title are Vandebilt Catholic (2009, 2012), South Terrebonne (2007, 2008, 2011) and E.D. White (2005, 2006, 2010).

NO. 2 BERWICK (TACO BELL) 2, NO. 3 TERREBONNE (DIAM0NDBACKS) 0

At Berwick in the first semifinal of the day, Jeremy Boudreaux had a two-run double in the second inning, and Taco Bell pitchers Nick Duthu (four innings), Brandon Fryou (1 2/3 innings) and Tim Stevens (1 1/3 innings) combined for a shutout on the mound to push Taco Bell (10-3) to today's final.

"We have been hosting this tournament for nine years now and this is the first time we have been in the championship," Taco Bell coach Mike Thomas said. "This summer is about finding out what kids can do for us (in the spring) in pressure situations, but on the other hand, we also want to win. We are happy to play for the championship but you want to see what your guys can do for next year as well."

The Diamondbacks (10-4) left the bases loaded in the fifth and sixth innings and had two on with one out in the top of the seventh but failed to score after a game-ending double play. They stranded 12 on base.

"Twelve runners left on base," Diamondbacks coach Gus Brown said. "The hit they got with two runners on in the second inning was key. We had guys on base all game long, but we just couldn't get that hit to get them in."

Austin Bollinger worked the complete game for the Diamondbacks and suffered the loss. He allowed four hits.

"He pitched excellent," Brown said. "It's just a shame we couldn't score any runs, but the summer was a great competitive experience for our guys. I think we won the same amount of games this summer than we did this past spring. It was great experience and exposure for our guys to compete against other teams from our area."