One-hit wonders, Tors escape scrappy Northshore

Published 8:17 am Wednesday, April 27, 2022

SULPHUR — It is not often a team wins with a lone hit on its stat line, but the No. 4 Tors were able to pull it off in the first round of the Class 5A playoffs Tuesday with a 2-1 win over No. 29 Northshore.

“The scouting report on those guys was that they were real scrappy, and they showed up,” Sulphur head coach Sam Moore said. “Their pitcher did a good job of keeping us off balance.

“We were fortunate to get away with a win tonight. We will take it because there are a lot of times when you don’t come out on the front end of these. We had two runs and they had one run. That is all that matters right now.”

It was the Tors’ first postseason win since the 2018 semifinals.

Sulphur (28-7) will host fellow District 3-5A member Acadiana (19-13) in the regional round. The teams split two district games with the Tors winning 9-0 and Acadiana taking a 1-0 win in Scott. The Rams beat No. 20 Denham Springs (16-18) 4-1 on Tuesday.

“It is a big win for us,” Moore said. “But we have a lot of work today.”

Northshore (17-16) took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning when David Cantrelle scored on a throwing error. The Tors responded in the bottom half on Dillion Bird’s RBI double to center field. Bryce Fontenot scored the go-ahead run on a ground out to shortstop by Luke Benoit.

But after the first inning, the Tors went hitless, something Moore said will have to change this weekend.

“We were upbeat but we just couldn’t find that big hit,” Moore said. “We always talk about this game being timely hitting, and we didn’t get the timely hits tonight.

“We have to work on our hitting. We have to move runners and put more competitive at-bats together.”

Sulphur left-handed ace Jake Brown (7-3) had 14 strikeouts, six walks and allowed one hit in six innings but had to work his way out of a pair of nerve-racking jams in the fifth and sixth innings.

The Panthers loaded the bases in the fifth before Brown struck out two to end the threat. Anthony Tamborella ended Brown’s no-hit bid in the sixth with a double to left field with one out. But shortstop Gage Trahan caught Grant Simmons between third base and home on a squeeze bunt attempt, and Brown got his 14th strikeout for the third out.

Kohl Navarre pitched a scoreless seventh inning for his sixth save of the season.

Jackson Fayard took the loss after allowing two runs, one earned, on one hit in five innings.

All five games of the bi-district games involving District 3-5A teams were decided by four runs or fewer.