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Cashing in: Synergy Bank takes home fourth summer title

Synergy Bank pitcher Justin Theriot had 10 strikeouts in his team’s 13-3 Swampland Baseball League championship game win over Taco Bell on Wednesday in Berwick. (Photo by Keyon K. Jeff/Correspondent)

BERWICK — The Swampland League Baseball championship has remained in exclusive company since the league’s inception nine years ago.

Vandebilt Catholic-based teams have won it twice.

South Terrebonne High-based teams have won it three times.

But on Wednesday at Berwick High School, E.D. White Catholic-based Synergy Bank took the lead in titles won by claiming its fourth summer crown.

Synergy Bank got a dominant pitching performance from Justin Theriot and broke the game open with a six-run third inning that included a grand slam by Allen Frost for 13-3 victory over Berwick–based Taco Bell in six innings.

E.D. White and Berwick will compete in the same Class 3A district for at least the next two seasons.

“You play summer ball to step forward to the spring so they learn how to win a championship,” Synergy Bank coach Shane Trosclair said. “This is a step in the right direction. They’ll be hungry to get to school in August.”

Theriot struck out 10, allowed eight hits, three runs and walked two in 5 1/3 innings for the win.

Andrew Eschete took the loss in relief, with two strikeouts, four hits, six runs and five walks in two innings pitched.

“(Justin) started slowed, but then he was able to get ahead and start mixing his pitches well,” Trosclair said. “For Justin, he had football workouts, 7-on-7s, took a nap and came play baseball.”

Taco Bell (10-4) started the game with three straight singles, including a Bobby Boudreaux (2-for-2) single that scored Brooks Richard, for a 1-0 lead.

Theriot settled down, and Synergy Bank (13-1) responded in the bottom half of the inning.

Spencer Folse scored on a grounder, and a wild pitch allowed Scottie Sanders to come home for a 2-1 advantage.

Taco Bell starting pitcher Tim Shelby was pulled after recording only one out.

“You’re not going to have your ‘A’ game all the time. You’ve got to find a way to win with your ‘B’ game,” Taco Bell coach Mike Thomas said. “(Wednesday) we didn’t have our ‘A’ or ‘B’ game, and we lost.”

Synergy Bank took control in the third inning. The strategy by Thomas to intentionally walk Sanders and Theriot in hopes of turning a double play backfired. Marcus Hebert came home on a wild pitch, and Folse was walked in.

Then with the bases loaded, Frost (1-for-3) hammered a grand slam over the 335-foot marking in left-centerfield for an 8-1 Synergy Bank lead.

“I wasn’t thinking about it. That’s probably why it happened,” Frost said. “He gave me a good pitch, and I swung. It was pretty exciting.”

“I knew the meat of their order can hit,” Thomas said. “We were hoping they would roll over one because defensively, this summer, we turned so many double plays, I’ve never seen anything like it.”

Taco Bell got RBI singles from Richard (2-for-3) in the fifth inning and Daniel Gray in the sixth inning, but that did stop Thomas from getting ejected in the sixth inning for arguing balls and strikes.

Synergy Bank finished the game with a five-run sixth inning.

Hebert (2-for-3) smacked a two-run double that scored Thomas Legendre and Cameron Sanders.

Scottie Sanders and Theriot (1-for-2 each) had RBI singles that brought home Hebert and Brennan Legendre, respectively, and Seth Plaisance scored the final run on a wild pitch.

“Of course we would love to come out and win this thing, but the bigger picture is not winning the Swampland League,” Thomas said. “The bigger picture is when February rolls around.”

After losing in last year’s Swampland League title game, and without 10 players from the last season’s Class 3A state runner-up squad, Trosclair believes Wednesday’s victory is the first step to claiming the ultimate prize that got away from them.

“I think after the loss in the state championship game they’re taking that into next season, not what we did in the summer. This summer gave them confidence we can go back and do it,” Trosclair said. “Those guys, including myself and my coaching staff, we still have that sting in the back of our heads. This gets us into the school year with a smile on our face and less questions that we have to answer. I can’t wait until January when I get them back, and we can get going again.”