BUCS AVENGE 2011 LOSS AT TULANE TO REACH FINAL:
NEW ORLEANS - After a five hour delay in the second semifinal, the 5A state championship game was finally set and it was Barbe earning the final spot. The top-seeded Bucs knocked out defending 5A state champion Jesuit on Saturday night, 4-1, at Tulane's Turchin Stadium.
Barbe advanced to face Rummel in the championship game on Sunday.
The Bucs jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the 1st and never looked back. Second baseman Luis Cintron led a seven-hit attack with a 2-for-3 performance from the plate to go with an RBI.
In a year in which bats were toned down, the Buccaneers played small ball in a big way, bunting for four hits, moving runners up on two other sacrifice bunts and creating havoc for a typically good defensive Jesuit team which had trouble handling the bunts.
Barbe avenged a loss to Jesuit in the quarterfinals last year. The two teams have often crossed paths in the postseason.
“I am so proud of our guys. Jesuit has been our nemesis. We beat them 7-5 in 2008. They beat us 2-1 last year. They beat us in extra innings in 2002. They have a great historic program and they have been winning championships before everybody. We knew it was going to be a battle,” Barbe Head Coach Glenn Cecchini said.
Beau Jordan notched an RBI single to give the Bucs a 1-0 lead. Barbe was not finished. With two runners on 2nd and 3rd as Luis Cintron bunted for an RBI single to allow another run to score. Blue Jays starter Jonathan Hess committed a throwing error at 1st base on the same play that allowed the Bucs to score an easy run to lead 3-0 after the 1st inning.
Jesuit had chances to come back in a couple of innings but could not catch the break they needed. The Blue Jays left two runners on base in the top of the 3rd after Armand Daigle struck out to end the frame. In the top of the 4th inning, Jesuit threatened again but came away empty.
With Spencer Miller on 1st, Jesuit's Matthew Braud stroked a double to the outfield. Miller was sent home on the play but was thrown out at the plate.
Barbe pitcher Dalton Willige pitched a complete game striking out six batters in the win. Hess took the loss, pitching six innings and allowing seven hits and four runs (three earned). The Blue Jays also committed three errors.
Jesuit avoided the shutout in the top of the seventh when third baseman Spencer Miller was hit by a pitch to open the frame and courtesy runner Benson Tucker came all the way around to score courtesy of a pair of wild pitches and a deep fly ball to right.
Barbe (32-6) will take on Rummel on Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m. for the 5A state championship. Jesuit finishes the season with a 27-8 record.
Richie Weaver contributed to this report.