Barbe freshman Davis Meche showed his mettle on the basepaths and on the mound while helping the Bucs beat Sulphur 5-4 to remain in the District 3-5A title chase.
Meche stole home as a courtesy runner in the second inning, then picked up a save by recording the final four outs of the game on the mound. Barbe (27-5, 7-3) can earn a share of the district title with wins over New Iberia and Sam Houston this week.
The Broncos currently lead the district an 8-2 record. They will visit Barbe Thursday.
The Bucs took control of the game early, scoring five runs over the first two innings. Brogan McNease delivered a two-run, two-out single to left in the second inning to put Barbe up 4-0. Running for McNease, Meche stole home on the next pitch.
Sulphur (20-12, 5-5) made a game of it late, loading the bases after the first two batters made outs in the sixth inning. Jake Broussard then blasted a double to deep left, scoring all three runners. Meche relieved starter Slate Fuller to get the final out of the inning then pitched around a leadoff walk in the seventh, retiring the next three batters on fly balls to end the game.
Cecchini said Meche has earned his faith.
“He has ice water in his veins,” Cecchini said. “He has been in lots of big games as a freshman and has delivered every time.”
McNease led the Barbe attack with two hits, a walk and a sac bunt that led to a runner scoring on a balk in the first inning. Fuller singled in the first and drove in a run in the second with a fielder’s choice ground ball. On the mound, he earned the win, striking out five and retiring nine straight batters until the Tors rally in the sixth.
“We had some bad luck in that inning, they got a guy on with catcher’s interference and we thought we had a guy struck out twice,” Cecchini said. “(On Broussard’s double) we almost had the catch.”
Chance Stone and Andrew Sheridan each reached base twice to lead Sulphur. Stone also threw 2 1/3 innings of scoreless relief to close out the game.
Cecchini said the Bucs’ primary goal for the final week of the regular season is maintaining home field advantage through the playoffs.
“We would like to win the district since it is available, but the big thing is being healthy and playing our best heading into the playoffs,” he said. “What we really want is to stay in the top four (in the state power rankings) so that we are at home through the playoffs.”
The Bucs were ranked second in the rankings released Monday and have won three straight since. The Tors were ranked ninth. The top eight seeds are home for the regional round, a best-of-three series.
Barbe 5, Sulphur 4
Sulphur 001 003 0—4-5-0
Barbe 140 000 0—5-5-0
PITCHING: W — Slate Fuller. L — Brody Strahan. S — Davis Meche.
TOP HITTERS: Sulphur — Jake Broussard 1-1 (double, 3 RBI). Barbe — Brogan McNease 2-2 (2 RBI).
RECORDS: Sulphur — 20-12, 5-5. Barbe — 27-5, 7-3.