Pirates claim second straight Class C state title

By DANIEL GREEN

BWS Sports

SULPHUR – Baseball games aren’t won or lost in the first inning.

But sometimes a play or two makes a huge difference.

Photo courtesy of SHARON FONTENOT/Rpma Pics
Hicks first baseman Connor Helton had a huge 3-run triple to open the scoring for the Pirates in the first inning of their 9-0 victory over the Hornbeck Hornets on Friday in the Class C championship game.

Instead of escaping the first inning with a double play ball, the Hornbeck Hornets watched Hicks score four runs, leading the third-ranked Pirates to a 9-0 victory over the No. 4 Hornets in the Class C state championship game at McMurry Park early Friday afternoon.

With the victory, the Pirates claimed their second straight Class C state title as they will embark to Class B next season.

Hornbeck opened the game with a Jaren Mitcham double and he reached third, but was stranded their as Hicks starter Zach Haymon got out of the inning with a strikeout and a lineout.

It appeared as if the Pirates were going to go scoreless in the bottom of the frame. After loading the bases with a double from title game Most Outstanding Player Aiden Coffman and a single by Haymon, along with Brad Pelt being hit by a pitch.

With Connor Helton at bat, it appeared as if he hit the ball to Hornbeck starter JoJo Weeks, who flipped the ball home for one out, with Mitcham firing to Tristen Welch at first for the double play.

However, the ball was ruled foul and Helton blasted the next pitch he saw to deep left center for a 3-run double and a 3-0 Hicks lead. Helton later scored on a single from Hayden Doyle, allowing Hicks to take a 4-0 advantage.

The Hornets managed to load the bases in the second inning, but a defensive play by Dakota Edwards off a Mitcham grounder ended the threat.

Hicks pushed three runs across in the bottom of the second as Pelt had an RBI-single, as did Edwards. Helton also drove in a run with a hit to push the lead to 7-0.

The Pirates added some insurance runs in the fourth and sixth innings to seal the deal.

Photo courtesy of SHARON FONTENOT/Roma PicsThe Hicks Pirates defeated the Hornbeck Hornets on Friday in the Class C finals at McMurry Park in Sulphur, 9-0, to capture a second straight state championship.

Haymon worked six and a third innings, giving up no runs on five hits with nine strikeouts, while Pelt closed the game with back-to-back outs.

Coffman was 3-for-4 with three runs scored and a pair of doubles, while Helton had a triple, a single and three RBIs. Haymon also had three hits and an RBI.

Photo courtesy of SHARON FONTENOT/Roma Pics
The Hornbeck Hornets fell to the Hicks Pirates on Friday in the Class C finals at McMurry Park in Sulphur, 9-0, claiming the runner-up crown for a second straight season.

Weeks suffered the loss, going the distance for Hornbeck, giving up nine runs on 11 hits. Cole Richardson had a pair of hits to lead the Hornets offensively.

Photo courtesy of SHARON FONTENOT/Roma Pics
Hicks catcher Aiden Coffman claimed the Class C Most Outstanding Player in the Class C title game as he had three hits and three runs scored as he guided the PIrates to a 9-0 win over rival Hornbeck. Pictured with Coffman is LHSAA Executive Director Eddie Bonine.

Indians fall in extra innings to defending champ Choudrant, 5-4

By DANIEL GREEN

BWS Sports

SULPHUR – Don’t tell the No. 11 Anacoco Indians they are too young to make the state baseball tournament.

Don’t tell them they don’t belong. Don’t tell them they don’t know what they are getting into.

The Indians, which started a quintet of junior high school players in their lineup, had the Class B defending champion and second-seeded Choudrant Aggies on the ropes only to fall in the bottom of the eighth inning of the state semifinals at McMurry Park in Sulphur on Wednesday, 5-4.

The Indians worked their way out to an early 3-1 lead, scoring all three of the runs in the second inning. After falling behind after one inning of play, Kaleb Goodwin was hit by a pitch with one out and advanced to second on a single by Trey Lewing. Xzavier Matthews loaded the bases when he was hit by a pitch.

Goodwin scored on a fielder’s choice off the bat of Landon Goodwin and Caleb Taylor singled to load the bases again.

Anacoco took the lead when Chase Taylor singled to center, allowing both Kaleb Goodwin and Matthews to score, pushing the Indian advantage to 3-1.

Photo courtesy of SAMANTHA GOODWIN
Anacoco first baseman Chase Taylor had three hits, including two doubles, and two RBIs as he led the 11th-seeded Indians in a 5-4 extra-inning loss to the second-ranked Choudrant Aggies in the Class B semifinals on Wednesday in Sulphur, 5-4.

Choudrant managed to battle back in the bottom of the third with a pair of runs off of a 2-run double by Jackson Case, knotting the game at 3-3.

The game remained tied until the top of the seventh inning when Anacoco pushed a run across. Chase Taylor doubled with two outs and scored on a single by Reid Rodriguez, giving Anacoco a 4-3 lead.

But once again, Choudrant responded with a run in the bottom of the frame. Kaden Bradshaw tripled and later scored to tie things up at 4-4.

After Anacoco was retired in the top of the eighth, the Aggies managed to score off of a couple of Indian errors to escape with the win.

Chase Taylor took the loss despite not giving up a hit in two-thirds of an inning. Rodriguez worked the first seven innings, giving up four runs on 10 hits with five strikeouts.

Taylor was 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles and two RBIs, while Rodriguez was 2-for-4 with an RBI.

Bryce McQuire worked five innings to get the win, giving up one run on five hits with four strikeouts. Gavin Murphy had two hits and an RBI, while Bradshaw had two hits, including a triple with a run scored. Case added a double and two RBIs for the Aggies.

Eagles cap historic season with second straight Class 2A crown

By DANIEL GREEN

BWS Sports

SULPHUR – A dominating season ended in dominating fashion.

Senior Ethan Frey struck out eight batters and drove in four runs in leading the top-ranked Rosepine Eagles to an 11-0 triumph over the Cinderella No. 11 Doyle Tigers in the Class 2A finals Friday at McMurry Park in Sulphur.

With the victory, the Eagles end the season with a record of 34-2, winning their last 30 games consecutively.

The Eagles wasted little time getting on the board, scoring twice in the bottom of the first. Jake Smith led off with a walk, took second base and then reached third on a bunt single by Logan Calcote.

Grant Ducote loaded the bases by drawing a walk, bringing Frey to the plate. Frey smacked a hard shot up the middle of the infield, which was mishandled by Jace Ware, allowing Calcote to round third and score following Smith crossing the plate, giving the Eagles a 2-0 lead.

The Tigers responded with a triple off the bat of Braden McLin to the deepest part of the park. However, McLin was stranded at third as Frey struck out two batters and induced a groundout to end the frame.

The Eagles scored four more times in the bottom of the third as Frey had a 3-run double, while Braden Trull doubled in courtesy runner Lane Willis, giving Rosepine a 6-0 cushion.

After working a quick fourth, the Eagles were able to tag five more runs to the total in the bottom of the fourth, which was started with an inside-the-park home run by Smith for a 7-0 lead.

Cole Donahue added a 2-run single in the frame, while Aden Cline drove in a run as Rosepine moved out to an 11-0 lead.

Frey and the Eagle defense did the rest in the top of the fifth as Frey forced a flyout, strikeout and a groundout to give Rosepine its second state championship in a row.

Frey, the title game Most Outstanding Player for a second year in a row, tossed a 1-hitter in his final game as an Eagle, while also driving in four runs.  Trull was the only Eagle with multiple hits as he was 2-for-3 with an RBI. Smith and Calcote each scored three runs in the win.

Caiden Barcia suffered the loss for the Tigers, although the lefty struck out five batters. McLin had the lone hit for the Tigers, as they only had two baserunners in the game, the other being Barcia, who was thrown out attempting to steal by Trull in the fourth.

Hornbeck returning to state finals, tops Simpson

By DANIEL GREEN

BWS Sports

SULPHUR – All the Hornbeck Hornets needed was one.

But Devyn Sharp got them two.

Sharp was 2-for-3 with a pair of RBIs and the Hornbeck defense did the rest as they knocked off No. 9 Simpson on Wednesday morning at McMurry Park in the Class C state semifinals, 2-0.

With the victory, the Hornets now await the winner between Hicks and Calvin.

After a couple of scoreless innings where both teams stranded a pair of runners, the fourth-seeded Hornets got things going in the bottom of the third. With one out, Parker Alexander doubled to left field and later scored on a Sharp RBI-single, scoring Alexander for a 1-0 lead.

Photo courtesy of SHARON FONTENOT/Roma Pics
Hornbeck senior Devyn Sharp drove in the only two runs of the game as he went 2-for-3 in leading the fourth-seeded Hornets past district rival and No. 9 Simpson on Wednesday in the Class C semifinals, 2-0.

The score remained that way until the bottom of the fifth when Jaren Mitcham singled, moved to second on a sacrifice and easily scored on an RBI-double off of Sharp’s bat for a 2-0 lead.

Simpson had one last opportunity in the seventh as the Broncos loaded the bases, but Addison retired Chase Taylor on a strikeout to complete his two-hitter.

Addison struck out 10 batters and gave up no runs on two hits. Sharp was the lone Hornet with multiple hits and drove in both runs. Alexander and Sharp each had doubles, while Mitcham had a hit and a run scored,

Ethan Nash suffered the loss, giving up two runs on seven hits with eight strikeouts. Tristin Williams doubled for the Broncos, while Justus Crooks had the other hit.

Pirates dominate Calvin to advance to Class C title game

By DANIEL GREEN

BWS Sports

SULPHUR – Baseball games can’t be won in the first inning. 

But the Hicks Pirates weren’t about to lose it either.

The third-seeded Pirates scored five runs in the top of the first inning and never looked back in blasting the second-ranked Calvin Cougars in the Class C semifinals at McMurry Park in Sulphur on Wednesday, 11-1.

Calvin starter Dylan Kyle was shelled in the top of the first by the aggressive bats of the Pirates. Bryson Rachal reached on a 1-out error and took second on a stolen base. He managed to score off a single from Zach Haymon to open the scoring.

Brad Pelt followed with a single to put runners at the corners and Dakota Edwards would reach on an error to score two runs for a 3-0 lead.

Hayden Doyle was hit by a pitch and both he and Edwards scored on a 2-run single off the bat of Cayden Cowgill for a 5-0 lead.

After a scoreless inning, the Pirates pushed a run across in the third when Edwards walked and later scored on a single from Kane Hagan for a 6-0 lead.

Hicks’ lead continued to grow with three more runs in the fourth. Rachal doubled to open the inning and scored on a single from Pelt. After a single from Edwards gave Hicks two runners, Doyle smacked a 2-run double to give Hicks a 9-0 advantage.

Photo courtesy of SHELIA STEPHENS
Hicks centerfielder Bryson Rachal (1) slides in safely on the steal during the Pirates’ 11-1 win over the Calvin Cougars on Wednesday in the Class C semifinals in Sulphur

Calvin pushed a run across in the fourth, but Hicks answered with two more in the fifth thanks to RBIs from Rachal and Haymon for an 11-1 lead.

The Cougars had a chance to extend the game in the bottom of the frame, but stranded a runner at third to give Hicks the mercy-rule victory.

Doyle earned the win on the mound for the Pirates, throwing only 42 pitches through four innings of work. He gave up one run on seven hits with four strikeouts. Haymon worked the last inning, allowing no runs on two hits.

Kyle suffered the loss for the Cougars on the mound, working just over two innings, giving up six runs. Cooper Spangler, John Bradley Griffin and Wayne Curtis Huckaby each had two hits for Calvin.

Indians fall in extra innings to defending champ Choudrant, 5-4

By DANIEL GREEN

BWS Sports

SULPHUR – Don’t tell the No. 11 Anacoco Indians they are too young to make the state baseball tournament.

Don’t tell them they don’t belong. Don’t tell them they don’t know what they are getting into.

Photo courtesy of SAMANTHA GOODWIN
Anacoco first baseman Chase Taylor had three hits, including two doubles, and two RBIs as he led the 11th-seeded Indians in a 5-4 extra-inning loss to the second-ranked Choudrant Aggies in the Class B semifinals on Wednesday in Sulphur, 5-4.

The Indians, which started a quintet of junior high school players in their lineup, had the Class B defending champion and second-seeded Choudrant Aggies on the ropes only to fall in the bottom of the eighth inning of the state semifinals at McMurry Park in Sulphur on Wednesday, 5-4.

The Indians worked their way out to an early 3-1 lead, scoring all three of the runs in the second inning. After falling behind after one inning of play, Kaleb Goodwin was hit by a pitch with one out and advanced to second on a single by Trey Lewing. Xzavier Matthews loaded the bases when he was hit by a pitch.

Goodwin scored on a fielder’s choice off the bat of Landon Goodwin and Caleb Taylor singled to load the bases again.

Anacoco took the lead when Chase Taylor singled to center, allowing both Kaleb Goodwin and Matthews to score, pushing the Indian advantage to 3-1.

Choudrant managed to battle back in the bottom of the third with a pair of runs off of a 2-run double by Jackson Case, knotting the game at 3-3.

The game remained tied until the top of the seventh inning when Anacoco pushed a run across. Chase Taylor doubled with two outs and scored on a single by Reid Rodriguez, giving Anacoco a 4-3 lead.

But once again, Choudrant responded with a run in the bottom of the frame. Kaden Bradshaw tripled and later scored to tie things up at 4-4.

After Anacoco was retired in the top of the eighth, the Aggies managed to score off of a couple of Indian errors to escape with the win.

Chase Taylor took the loss despite not giving up a hit in two-thirds of an inning. Rodriguez worked the first seven innings, giving up four runs on 10 hits with five strikeouts.

Taylor was 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles and two RBIs, while Rodriguez was 2-for-4 with an RBI.

Bryce McQuire worked five innings to get the win, giving up one run on five hits with four strikeouts. Gavin Murphy had two hits and an RBI, while Bradshaw had two hits, including a triplek with a run scored. Case added a double and two RBIs for the Aggies.

Leesville sweeps Vernon Parish Relays; Rosepine claims runner-up

By WILL NORRIS

BWS Sports

Courtesy photo
Courtesy photo Anacoco eighth-grader Sophia Swinney (left) and Leesville freshman Keeton Johnson were the Outstanding Track winners recently at the Vernon Parish Relays. Johnson won the three distance events, while Swinney won the 800-meter run and the 300-meter hurdles.

LEESVILLE – The Leesville Wampus Cats flexed their muscle on the track recently in the annual Vernon Parish Relays, easily running away from the field to win the team title.

Sparked by Outstanding Track performer Keeton Johnson, Leesville finished with a total of 242 points, easily outdistancing Rosepine, which was runner-up with 89 points. Anacoco was third with 79 points, while Hornbeck and Hicks were fourth and fifth, respectively.

Johnson claimed first place in the 800-meter run, the 1,600-meter run and the 3,200-meter run to lead the Wampus Cats to the team title. Additionally on the track, Caleb Gallashaw won the 100-meter dash, Derek Beebe claimed the 200-meter dash, Taj Jackson won the 400-meter dash, Frank Ford was the winner of the 110-meter high hurdles and the 400-meter, 800-meter and 3,200-meter relay teams were victorious as well.

The only other schools to claim first place on the track in the boys division was Rosepine in the 1,600-meter relay and the 300-meter hurdles, which was captured by Evans runner, Caleb Williams.

On the girls’ side, the Lady Cats were able to claim the team title with 168 points, with Rosepine and Anacoco coming in second and third with 148 and 106 points, respectively. Hornbeck took fourth overall, while Pickering claimed fifth place.

Rosepine’s Amaya Shine took first in both the 100 and 200-meter dashes, while finishing second to Leesville’s Ariyah Green in the 400-meter dash.

Anacoco’s Sophia Swinney, the girls’ Outstanding Track winner, won both the 800-meter run and the 300-meter hurdles, while Leesville standout Lina Mills-Zacapa won both the 1,600 meters and 3,200 meters.

Leesville’s Felisa Robinson won the 100-meter hurdles, while Leesville won the 400-meter and 800-meter relays. Rosepine claimed top honors in the mile and 2-mile relay.

In the field, Hicks standout Conner Harper won the high jump, long jump and triple jump titles to take home Outstanding Field honors. Rosepine’s Austin Puckett won the pole vault, while Lance Grafton of Anacoco won the boys discus. Leesville’s Trey Marsh took the javelin title, while teammate Jaymeion Henderson won the shot put.

In the girls’ field events, Leesville’s Arrianna Leonard was the Outstanding Field performer as she won both the long jump and triple jump. Her teammate, Blyss Ault, won the high jump competition, while Anacoco Lauren Hunnicutt won the discus.

The girls’ pole vault title went to Rosepine’s Hanzel Cortez, while Pitkin eighth-grader Natalee Nolen won the javelin. Pickering’s MyKia Freeney was the winner in the girls’ shot put.