It simply wasn’t meant to be for the French Settlement baseball team.
The No. 13-seeded Lions put up a fight in the first game of Friday’s Class 2A quarterfinal series with No. 5 Kinder, falling 3-1 after loading the bases with two outs in the top of the seventh inning.
The Yellow Jackets used an eight-run fifth inning to spark a 12-1 win in the second game, ending the Lions’ season.
“On the outside looking in, people probably didn’t think we’d get as far as we did,” FSHS coach Jaime Gautreau said of his team. “We returned seven of nine starters, so for ourselves, we had expectations to try to go further than we did the last two years, and to the team’s credit, they expected to be in the third round. They were expecting to be in Sulphur next week, and I was proud of them for expecting that.
“We lose three seniors, so we’re going to be returning six to seven starters and a lot of people with experience, so hopefully we can get back to where we were this year and maybe take it a step further. I was just real proud of the way the team played all year. They never gave up. We had some close losses. I told the kids they’ve got nothing to hang their heads about. This is the furthest we’ve ever been as a 2A program.”
Kinder advances to play No. 8 Loreauville in the semifinals Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. at McMurry Park in Sulphur. No. 2 Doyle plays No. 3 Welsh at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in the other semifinal.
KINDER 3, FSHS 1
Kinder put together a three-run third inning and made it hold up as the Lions rallied for their lone run in the top of the seventh as Brice Fruge doubled and Gannon Allison walked before Brody Bell’s one-out single accounted for the final margin.
With two outs, Will McMorris singled, loading the bases, but Ben Andrews struck out swinging to end the game.
“We had some opportunities earlier in the game, but for the most part, the last inning was our biggest opportunity, and we just couldn’t push them across,” Gautreau said. “That’s the game of baseball.”
The Yellow Jackets got four singles in the third inning, leading to three runs.
“They hit the ball pretty well,” Gautreau said of Kinder. “They pitched really well. They were pretty disciplined. They didn’t swing at any bad pitches out of the zone, and when they did swing, they usually made contact. Most of our strikeouts were on pitches that either just fooled them or were strikeouts looking that they just didn’t swing at the pitch. They were just pretty solid all the way around.”
Fruge gave up seven hits, three runs, three walks and struck out three in a complete-game loss.
Gavin Chevallier and Matthew Robertson combined to give up five hits, three walks and strike out seven for Kinder.
Edward Allison and Jonas LeBourgeois had the other hits for FSHS.
KINDER 12, FSHS 1
The Lions got their lone run in the first inning after LeBourgeois got a two-out double and scored on Fruge’s single, but Kinder got four runs in the third on three errors, five walks and a double to take the lead for good.
Kinder got five hits while taking advantage of two walks and a hit batter as part of the eight-run fifth to put the game away.
FSHS put two runners on to lead off the fifth inning but Kinder got three straight outs to end the Lions’ season.
Gannon Allison gave up one hit, four runs, six walks and struck out one in 2.2 innings to take the loss, while Hunter Wheat gave up four hits, seven runs, three walks and struck out one in 1.2 innings of relief. McMorris gave up a hit, a run and struck out one in 2/3 of an inning.
Edward Allison, Gannon Allison and Hodges had the other hits for FSHS, which collected five.