In February, Breaux Bridge took advantage of errors and beat South Lafourche 10-5.
On Friday, the Tarpons made sure that nothing was free, moving one step closer to the Class 4A Quarterfinals in the process.
The Tarpons walloped the Tigers 8-1 on Friday in Game 1 of a best of 3 series in the second round of the Class 4A State Playoffs.
In the first meeting between the teams, South Lafourche committed 4 errors, which turned into 8 unearned Breaux Bridge runs. On Friday, the Tarpons played fantastic defense, recording several web gem plays in an error-less game behind pitcher Duece Cheramie. On the flip side, they took advantage of multiple Tigers’ errors to score runs in 5 of the 6 innings they came to bat.
“Our defense was incredible,” junior DH Derin Doucet said. “It was astonishing. We are in a groove right now. We do what we can to just find each other out there. Earlier in the year, we didn’t have it together. We hadn’t gelled yet. But right now, it’s a different team, and we played amazing defense tonight.”
The defense was what was different tonight for South Lafourche.
But the Tarpons beat Breaux Bridge tonight in all phases from start-to-finish.
The Tarpons scored a run in the 1st and 2 in the 2nd to go up 3-0 right out of the gate.
Josh Pierce reached on an error with 1 out, then was bunted to 2nd by Jonah Callais.
With 2 outs, the Tarpons got a run when Wes Allemand grounded a ball that was thrown away by third baseman Anthony Roberts, which allowed Pierce to score and make it 1-0.
In the 2nd, the Tarpons got runs more conventionally to go up 3-0.
Cheramie was hit by a pitch, then bunted over to 2nd by Matt Lee.
With one out, Hunter Condley tattooed a double down the line off Tigers’ pitcher Mason LeBlanc to score Cheramie and make it 2-0. Austin Zak ran for Condley, then advanced to 3rd on a passed ball. He then came to score when Matt Jalbert rolled a ground ball to short to make it 3-0.
Condley and Jalbert are the Tarpons’ 8 and 9-hole hitters.
“1-through-9, I wouldn’t want to face us right now,” Tarpons’ coach Chandler Guidroz said.
The early runs were all Cheramie needed on the mound.
Cheramie was lights out on Friday, working 6.2 innings without much stress. The junior allowed 7 hits, 1 run and struck out 6, keeping the Tigers off balance.
Guidroz said Cheramie was “lights out”.
Cheramie said he knew in the bullpen, it was going to be a special night. Friday’s game was played before a massive crowd, and Cheramie said once the juices got flowing, there was nothing that could stop him.
“With the support I had from my team and from those fans, I knew I had it from the get-go,” he said. “Down here, that’s just the atmosphere. Everybody loves to come watch some baseball. I knew it was up to me to perform for them.”
The Tigers got their only run in the 3rd when Cameron Gonzales tripled, then scored on a sacrifice fly from Kohen Boyd to make it 3-1.
But the Tarpons took the run back in the bottom half when Doucet laced an RBI double to right field to score Jonah Callais, who led off the inning with a hit. That made it 4-1.
Callais was 2-of-2 in the win, and Doucet was 3-of-4. Doucet said the baseball looks like “a watermelon” right now in the box.
“I’m just seeing pitches and seeing what I want to hit,” Doucet said. “I’m so confident in my swing right now. I’m just so ready to roll when it’s my turn to hit.”
Breaux Bridge had their chance in the 5th.
The Tigers got the bases loaded with no outs after Dorien Jackson, Gonzales and Boyd all reached safely.
But Cheramie slammed the door shut, striking out Kole Hebert, then inducing a 6-4-3 double play off the bat of LeBlanc to get out of the inning with no damage done.
Cheramie said when the ball was hit off LeBlanc’s bat, he knew it was the end of the rally. Matherne flipped it to 2nd baseman Ben Martin who fired a strike to Jalbert over at 1st. When the ball popped into Jalbert’s glove, the home crowd went wild, and the Tarpons’ dugout ran onto the field to celebrate their pitcher and defense’s heroics.
“I looked at Myles fielding it, and just said to myself, ‘That’s it. Let’s get back in the dugout,’” he said. “The defense was awesome tonight. That was a great play.”
With their best scoring chance thwarted, it got away from the Tigers.
The Tarpons made it 5-1 in the fifth when Jonah Callais scored after the Tigers threw the ball away trying to pick off Derin Doucet at first base.
In the 6th, South Lafourche chased LeBlanc and added 3 more with RBI hits from Callais, Allemand and Doucet — all the damage coming after the Tigers recorded a 2-out strikeout, but couldn’t complete the throw to 1st base to get out of the inning.
Cheramie got 2 outs in the 7th, then maxed out his pitch count. Cyrus Guilbeau worked the final out to end the game.
Guidroz said it was one of the more complete games his team has played this season.
“Everybody is contributing 1-through-9,” Guidroz said. “Our guys in the dugout are locked in. Everybody is just pulling in the same direction. I’ve never been a part of a team with this much chemistry who loves each other and plays for each other and gives it everything they’ve got. But that’s us right now, and the kids are doing great things.”
The teams will play Game 2 tomorrow at noon. Josh Pierce will get the ball for the Tarpons.
Guidroz said the series is far from over, adding that Breaux Bridge is a great program that will come back swinging tomorrow.
Cheramie and Doucet said they, too, know they have to show up tomorrow ready to play.
“We got to come tomorrow ready to play,” said Cheramie, who will move back into the infield tomorrow. “We want to get more hits than we did tonight. The pitching and defense will be there. We just want to lock in and score some more runs.”
“There’s still 1 more to win,” Doucet added. “We’ll be ready to play.”