It was an ending almost like you’d script in a movie.
South Lafourche led South Terrebonne 8-6 in the top of the 7th.
The bases were loaded. There were 2 outs. And South Terrebonne’s best hitter, Cam Trosclair was coming to the plate.
Trosclair had been a thorn in the Tarpons’ side throughout Tuesday’s game with 3 hits and a mammoth home run.
But in their final meeting with Trosclair, the Tarpons finally found a way to get the slugger back to the dugout without damage.
On the first pitch of the at-bat, pitcher Duece Cheramie got Trosclair to poke a slow ground ball to first baseman Matt Jalbert, who speared the ball, then walked to the bag for the final out of the game.
The dramatic ending sealed a Tarpons victory — the team’s third straight. South Lafourche is also now 2-1 in district play.
Coach Chandler Guidroz said he was proud of the way the Tarpons played. It’s the team’s 3rd-straight win — all over sure playoff teams. The Tarpons beat Vandebilt last Tuesday and Belle Chasse on Monday.
“Once again, piggy backing off of last night, it was balanced throughout our lineup,” Guidroz said of the win. “To get 10 hits as a team against South Terrebonne is an accomplishment. It’s a great team win. Up and down the lineup, everyone for us contributed.”
To get to that dramatic final sequence with the lead, the Tarpons strung together a stingy offensive game with clutch hits and patient at-bats.
The Gators struck first when Trosclair hit a mammoth 2-run home run over the scoreboard in left field to put his team ahead 2-0.
But South Lafourche answered for three of their own in the bottom half to go up 3-2.
Wes Allemand had an opposite-field RBI single in the rally and Derin Doucet scored a bases-loaded RBI walk. On that play, Gators’ pitcher Brady Bowen delivered a wild pitch, and catcher Drake Detillier couldn’t find the ball, which allowed two Tarpon runners to score.
Bowen was all over the place at times in Tuesday's game. In the first inning alone, he walked 4 batters.
“Our motto is when a team jabs at us, we come back and throw haymakers back,” Guidroz said. “We wanted to respond and we did.”
South Lafourche went up 6-2 in the bottom of the 3rd with another 3-run inning. Cheramie had an RBI hit in that rally, and the Gators hurt themselves with a wild pitch and an errant pickoff play at 3rd, which aided in the Tarpons scoring runs.
The insurance eased Tarpons starter Josh Pierce into the game.
After the slow start, Pierce worked into the 7th, working into and out of jams.
Guidroz said he was pleased with how the pitcher responded to the early home run. The Tarpons had 2 key arms unavailable after pitching last night against Belle Chasse, so Guidroz said having him work deep into Tuesday’s game was huge.
“That’s the Josh Pierce we saw early in the season and during tournament time,” Guidroz said. “What happened to him at Vandebilt was very uncharacteristic. But we’re so proud of how he’s bounced back and has established himself as one of the best pitchers in this area.”
The Gators didn’t go down without a fight.
South Terrebonne scratched across single runs in the 4th and 5th to trim the 6-2 deficit to 6-4.
But the Tarpons got insurance of their own with single runs in the 5th and 6th to balloon the lead back to 8-4.
Derin Doucet got an RBI ground ball in the 5th, and Jonah Callais hit an RBI double in the 6th.
The top of South Lafourche's order was lethal on Tuesday. The Tarpons' 1-thru-5 hitters were a combined 9-of-16 in the win with Myles Matherne, Jonah Callais, Wes Allemand and Duece Cheramie all having multi-hit games. The bottom of the order took advantage of the top getting on base when it had to. Doucet got 2 RBI out of the 7-hole.
But the 7th wasn’t without drama.
Pierce faced 3 batters, walking the first two, then recording a strikeout to end his night.
Derin Doucet then came in and balked home a run, but also recorded the second out — an RBI ground out from Brock Cangelosi to make the game 8-6.
After Henry Lirette and Bowen both walked, it set the stage for Trosclair, who was 3-of-3 with a walk at the time of his last at-bat.
Guidroz said he met with pitching coach Bucky Angelette and thought about walking Trosclair intentionally and forcing in a run.
But the decision was made to let Cheramie face him, and he induced a first-pitch weak ground ball to end the game.
“It was a 50-50 call. It was a gut call. But with the way Duece has been playing, he has not been getting hit hard,” Guidroz said. “And we got a bit lucky. We hit a good spot, he rolled over one and we got the out and Tarpons win.”
The same two teams will play tomorrow at 4 p.m. in Bourg.
Entering play, South Lafourche was seeded No. 14 in power rankings for Class 4A, and the Gators were 3rd.
Guidroz said he told his team not to celebrate, because tomorrow’s game is as big as today’s.
“This game is over,” Guidroz said. “Now, we need to get some rest, come in tomorrow focused and give them our best shot.”