Sam Houston baseball

Sam Houston’s Hunter Goatreaux reaches for the bag during the third inning on Thursday but is tagged out by Barbe first baseman Slate Fuller.

LAKE CHARLES — The top-five matchup between No. 2 Barbe and No. 3 Sam Houston on Thursday didn’t disappoint the sellout crowd at Barbe High School. The game went down to the wire with the Buc left fielder Tanner Littleton coming up with a big play at the end to seal the 1-0 win.

Barbe was in a bind after Tate Helms moved to second on a two-out error.

Mason Stutes hit hard grounder into left field and Helms rounded third trying to tie the game but Littleton scooped up the ball and fired home to catcher Brogan McNease who tagged Helms to end the game.

“It all begins with your thoughts,” Barbe head coach Glenn Cecchini said. “If your pour positive thoughts into your head you have a better opportunity of great things happening.

“There is no secret. Like when we threw the ball way there at the end, it is over move on. We always say so what, next pitch, next play. We stay in the moment. It was a great throw by Littleton.”

Helms was running for Peyton Johnson who had led off the top of the seventh with a bloop single just over the head of Barbe third baseman Kirkland Banks.

The Bucs’ (29-5, 9-3) win means a three-way tie for the District 3-5A championship with Sam Houston (27-7, 9-3) and Acadiana (23-8, 9-3).

“We didn’t play our game tonight,” Sam Houston head Chad Hebert said. “We faced Goree and we have him everything he wanted. We were one error away from still playing.”

In the bottom of the fourth inning, Bryan Lawrence, who reached base on an error, scored the lone run of the game all the way from first base on a triple to the right field corner by Antonio Gauthier with one out. Sam Houston was able to stop the Bucs from adding another run with a 5-3-2 double play on the next play.

Sam Houston had a chance early to score when Stutes and Barron Simon hit back-to-back singles with two outs in the second inning but Stutes slipped rounding second and got caught in a run down.

Silas Ardoin hit a one-out single in the third inning but courtesy runner Hunter Goatreaux was picked off at first base.

Barbe got another stellar pitching performance from Adam Goree who needed just seven pitches, all strikes, to retire his first three batters. Goree struck out five and walked one while holding the Broncos to five hits.

Johnson (5-3) held the Bucs to four hits for the second time this season but was tagged with the loss. He struck out two and walked two.

Barbe 1, Sam Houston 0

Sam Houston 000 000 0—0-5-1

Barbe 000 100 0—1-4-1

PITCHING: W — Adam Goree. L — Peyton Johnson (5-3).

TOP HITTERS: Sam Houston — Mason Stutes 2-3. Barbe — Ty Manuel 2-3, Antonio Gauthier 1-3 (RBI, triple).

RECORDS: Sam Houston — 27-7, 9-3. Barbe — Barbe 29-5, 9-3.