08 May 2016

Baseball Bears Advance to State Tournament After Sweep Over Jesuit

The Catholic High baseball team advanced to the 5A state tournament in Sulphur for the second consecutive year courtesy of their two game series sweep over Jesuit at Grizzly Field this weekend.  The Bears beat the visiting Blue Jays on a walk-off home run by Connor Bowen in the 10th inning on Friday, May 6, to win it 6-5.  On Saturday, the Bears let any doubters know that Friday’s come from behind win was no fluke in shutting out the Jays, 8-0.

In Game one, the Bears were down 4-1 going into the bottom of the inning and scored two runs to pull within a run at 4-3.  Josh Smith led off the inning with a walk, followed by a single from Tristan Welch and an rbi double from Daniel Guilbeau.  Connor Bowen’s rbi groundout plated the third run for CHS.

The Bears went into the bottom of the last, down a run, 4-3, and forced extra innings on three walks, a hit by pitch and a sacrifice bunt. 

Jesuit scored a run in the top of the tenth to go up 5-4, but Daniel Guilbeau singled with one out, which led to Bowen’s heroic home run, his only bomb of the season, to put the Bears up 1-0 in the series.

Outside of the walk-off dinger, senior Brady Sartain was the story of the game. Sartain entered in the second and threw 8 1/3 innings in relief of starter Brandon Fairbanks. The southpaw threw 77 strikes on 127 pitches and only yielded six hits and two runs while striking six. 

On a picturesque Saturday afternoon, the Bears got four runs in the first inning and gave sophomore Brady Hebert a feeling of comfort early. The righty gave up just four hits and struck out five in six innings.  Fellow sophomore Nathan Bell threw the seventh to wrap things up for the Bears.

Offensively, the Bears pounded out nine hits and took advantage of five Blue Jay errors.  Tristan Welch was 3 for 4 and Josh Smith, Daniel Guilbeau, and Brennan Lambert were all 2 for 3 at the plate. 

The #4 seed Bears move onto the semifinals for the third time in five seasons under coach Brad Bass and will face 5A power Barbe High School.  The Bucs have won the last two 5A state championships and defeated the Bears in the state championship game last year.  The Bears defeated Barbe earlier in the season on March 5 by a score of 6-4.  “I am so proud of our guys and coaching staff,” noted Bass. “They will be ready to go for Barbe. They have a great tradition and are a respected program, but so are we. Our guys are on a mission for 33 – when the playoffs began we knew we would need 33 wins to take home the championship. Two to go.”

31-6 CHS will face #1 seed Barbe at McMurry Park (Field 41) in Sulphur on Friday, May 13. Game time is set for 7 p.m. 

The games can be seen live on the NFHS Network. Classes 4A and 5A championship games will be televised live on FOX SPORTS New Orleans Plus.