The Belle Chasse baseball team learned a valuable lesson tonight that teams in our local area already knew: it's never wise to get too far off the base when catcher Hunter Condley is behind the plate.
The Tarpons beat the Cardinals 6-3 today in a non-district game between two sure Class 4A Playoff teams. It was Condley's powerful arm that helped seal the trick for South Lafourche when the game was in doubt in the final inning.
The Cardinals had the bases loaded with 2 outs in the bottom of the 7th. Following a Duece Cheramie pitch, Condley picked off a Cardinals' runner who took a sloppy secondary lead – the final out of the win for the Tarpons, who are now 12-7 on the season.
The Tarpons' catcher also had 2 hits in the win, just days after his 2-RBI single capped a 5-run rally in the team's win against Vandebilt.
"He just plays with such intensity," Tarpons coach Chandler Guidroz said of his catcher on Saturday. "He brings a toughness and competitiveness that you don't often see. He's giving you everything he's got, and is going 110% in every thing he does."
Condley's late heroics capped a total team effort for the Tarpons.
South Lafourche recorded 12 hits in Monday's win with players up and down the lineup recording key hits in a balanced effort.
The Tarpons grabbed control early scoring 2 in the 1st, then 2 more in the 3rd to go up 4-0.
South Lafourche got multi-hit games from Derin Doucet (3-of-3), Jonah Callais (3-of-4), Josh Pierce (2-of-4) and Condley (2-of-4) in the win.
Cheramie also had a 2-RBI double.
But Belle Chasse had some fight in them, too.
The Cardinals got single runs in the 3rd, 4th and 5th innings to trim the 4-run deficit down to 1.
But the Tarpons ballooned it back to its final margin with insurance runs in the 6th and 7th.
Scott Robichaux started for the Tarpons and worked into the 4th inning, working 3.2 innings, allowing 3 hits, 2 runs (1 earned). But control plagued the Tarpons' starter again, as he walked 6 batters and struck out 2. The walks ran up his pitch count and forced him out of the game.
In relief, South Lafourche turned to Edward Dufrene, who returned from COVID contact tracing to pitch 2.2 innings, allowing 3 hits and 1 unearned run.
Dufrene got the team into the 7th, and Cheramie threw water on the fire with the final two outs of the game. He induced a ground ball which hit a Cardinals' base runner for the 2nd out of the rally, then Condley worked his magic to seal the deal with the successful throw behind the base runner for the final out of the win.
Belle Chasse is now 10-12 in defeat.
The Tarpons entered the game No. 14 in the Class 4A power rankings, while the Cardinals were No. 16.
South Lafourche will be challenged by another playoff-bound foe tomorrow when they host South Terrebonne, a team currently seeded No. 3 in power ranking projections.
First pitch for that game is 6 p.m. in Galliano.