Mamou went through the batting order in both the fourth and sixth innings to cruise to a 21-3 win over the Eunice Nationals in the PONY Bronco District II semifinals Monday night at the Eunice Recreation Complex.
Mamou then dropped a 15-3 decision to St. Landry Youth Athletic Association in the finals. SLYAA and Coteau (District I champion) advance to the Bronco state tournament held in Crowley this weekend.
“It was a good summer for us,” Eunice head coach Scott Bihm said. “This game was not how we played. It was like driving with a flat tire, we just couldn’t get it done.
“We lost our pitcher in the first inning as his arm was just worn out,” the coach said of the starting pitcher son Scotty Bihm. “Then we just couldn’t get the hits when we needed them.”
Mamou jumped to a 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning and never relinquished their advantage over the Nationals.
Tanner Landreneau doubled down the right field line, stole second and scored on a sacrifice by Jacob Fruge.
Aaron Johnson tripled and scored on a sacrifice by Joshua Fontenot as Mamou led 2-0.
Daniel Gilchrist hit a two-out double to left field and scored on a passed ball to give the visitors a 3-0 lead.
The Nationals closed the gap to 3-1 in the bottom of the inning when Justin Mounier tripled to center and scored on a sacrifice by Nick Zaunbrecher.
Ten Mamou batters came to the plate in the fourth inning and six scored to push the lead to 9-1.
Landreneau tripled and later stole home, while Fruge singled and Johnson reached on a fielder’s choice.
Fruge and Johnson crossed the plate on Fontenot’s double in the gap in centerfield as Mamou forged ahead 6-1.
Fontenot scored on Gilchrist’s triple, while the Mamou catcher scored on a single by Hunter McBride.
Mamou pushed ahead 9-1 when Toby Ortego hit a sacrifice to score McBride as the Nationals were on the verge of being knocked out by the mercy rule.
Mamou scored two more runs in the top of the fifth when Landreneau singled and scored on Fruge’s single. Fruge gave Mamou an 11-1 advantage when he crossed home plate on a passed ball.
The Nationals scored two runs in the bottom of the fifth to avoid the 10-run rule and close the margin to 11-3.
Johnny Gary walked and Cole Hebert reached on an error and both scored on passed balls before the Mamou defense stiffened to shut down the Nationals rally.
Mamou then exploded for 10 runs in the top of the sixth as 16 batters came to the plate and sealed the win over the Nationals.
McBride walked and Seth Perotti singled to open the inning. Ortego singled in McBride and Logan Rougeau reached on a walk.
Landreneau drilled a single to right field to score Perotti and Ortego for a 14-3 lead.
Johnson was hit by a pitch to load the bases and Fontenot reached on an error as both later scored on another Eunice error and a passed ball.
McBride came up to bat for the second time in the inning and singled, while Perotti was then hit by a pitch to load the bases.
Ortego singled in McBride and Rougeau was hit by a pitch to load the bases for the third time in the inning.
Mamou’s final runs of the game came when Landreneau singled in Perotti and Fruge pushed in Ortego for a 21-3 advantage.
Kalumn Fruge (2-for-3) singled for Eunice in the bottom of the sixth for the Nationals’ third hit of game, but was left stranded at second base as the game ended.
Pony - Mustang
Tournament action continues Friday at the Eunice Recreation Complex as the Pony and Mustang District championships will be held this weekend,
In the Pony (13-14) side of the bracket, four teams will compete including Eunice, Rayne, Iowa and Westlake.
In Mustang (9-10) play, the Eunice Nationals, Eunice Americans, Iota, Crowley Nationals, Crowley Americans and the St. Landry Youth Athletic Association Americans and Nationals will compete.