MOSS BLUFF — The long wait for Sam Houston baseball is finally over.
Sam Houston (31-6) swept a best of three quarterfinal series against Walker with a 5-3 win Saturday afternoon and advances to the semifinal round at the state tournament next week.
Walker (18-21) entered the playoffs as the No. 27 seed but upset No. 6 Destrehan in the opening round and won a regional round series over No. 11 New Iberia.
Sam Houston quickly took control of the second game, scoring five runs in the first two innings. Two Walker errors allowed three runs to score and Braden Duhon and Chris Colley each had an RBI single for the Broncos.
Walker starter Kyle Guidry retired the next 10 batters after Colley's second hit and held the Broncos scoreless over the final five innings.
The Wildcats made things interesting, getting a run back in the third inning on Bailey Gautreaux sacrifice fly to score Chase Jeansonne, who had tripled down the right field line.
Walker score two more in the sixth inning, with Jeansonne singling to score Mason Inman and Gautreaux hitting another sac fly to score Rush Azlin.Jeansonne's single put runners on the corner with one out, but Broncos reliever Will Thompson escaped the jam with a fly ball and liner to short.
The Wildcats got a one-out double by Tristan Taylor in the seventh inning, but Thompson again forced two outs to end the game.
Jeansonne and Don Paul Smith each had two hits to lead Walker, which left 11 men on base in the game.
Broncos head coach Chad Hebert said his team has been consistent throughout the season.
"We just play team baseball, we aren't lighting up the scoreboard these days but we are coming out one run ahead, and that is what you have to do," he said.
"The defense is playing consistently, the pitchers are throwing strikes. We had a few walks today but got through it. It's guts right now, whatever you have to do to get through it."
Thompson and starter Chris Haggard got the big outs to keep the game under control.
"Our guys made pitches when they had to," Hebert said. "They popped up a lot of balls with men on base. That's what you got to do. Whenever it is time, you have to make the pitches and get the outs."
Hebert said his seniors, who suffered three straight first round losses, earned the right to play on the big stage next week.
"They have been through a lot and deserve everything they have gotten this year," he said. "Making it to the semis, the school record for wins, the first district championship in 5A, everything they have gotten, they deserve."
Friday, May 5th
Sam Houston 6, Walker 5
MOSS BLUFF — It wasn’t pretty but the third-ranked Sam Houston Broncos did just enough to beat No. 27 Walker 6-5 in the first game of a best-of-three Class 5A quarterfinal playoffs series on Friday.
The game was marred by five errors with just three earned runs out of 11.
“A win trumps all, that is what it is all about at this point,” Sam Houston head coach Chad Hebert said. “At the end of the game you have to be one run better than they are and that is exactly what we did tonight.
“They didn’t play clean and we didn’t play clean but we had a little more in the tank than they did at the end. At this point it is survive and advance.”
Sam Houston (30-7) came out flat and trailed 2-0 after Walker (18-20) scored a pair of unearned runs.
The mood in the Broncos’ dugout quickly changed in the fourth inning when junior Barron Simon’s hit his first home run of the season.
Chris Colley reached on an error and Braden Duhon drew a walk off Lane Thomas with no outs. Mason Stutes’ attempt at a sacrifice bunt was caught by catcher Hunter Murray but then Simon smashed a three-run line drive off the right field light pole for a 3-2 lead.
“We scratched a couple of guys on but we muffed the bunt,” Hebert said. “But like I said all year, players don’t win championships, teams do.
“A guy who has been pretty solid for us all year comes up and hits a laser off the light pole and the momentum carried over to a six-run inning.”
Starting pitcher Peyton Johnson got into a bit of a bind in the top of the seventh inning after giving up one run on three hits. After a meeting on the mound he got Lane Thomas to ground out to Simon at first base to end the game.