THE POST-SIGNAL / Aimee Benoit
Shop Rite Millers’ pitcher Landen Broussard fires a pitch to the plate during a recent game at Miller Stadium.
Warriors rally late to upend Millers in 7th District play
When it rains, it pours for the Shop Rite Millers.
For the third straight game, the Millers squandered an early lead, giving up five runs in the bottom of the sixth inning Monday in a disheartening 5-3 loss to the Opelousas Warriors at Westminster Christian Academy.
The loss ended the Millers’ chances of claiming their second straight district title. They had to beat the Warriors twice to force a playoff for the league championship against the Opelousas Indians.
The Millers (2-8) had lost eight straight heading into last night’s rematch with the Warriors at Miller Stadium.
On Monday, the Millers got off to a good start in the opening frame when Ethan Mack singled to center field off Warriors’ hurler Parker Lafosse and then advanced to second base on a wild pitch. One batter later, Addison Landry drilled an RBI single down the left field line to give the guests a 1-0 lead.
A one-out solo home run by Kye Cary put the Millers up 2-0.
Lafosse gave up a hit and a walk in the second inning, but he got out of the frame unscathed.
From there, Lafosse settled in and sat the Millers down in order over the next three frames.
Millers’ starting pitcher Landen Broussard was lights out through the first five innings as he blanked the Warriors, limiting them to just four hits.
But the wheels began to fall off in the sixth inning.
Broussard hit the first batter of the frame and then gave up back-to-back singles, including an RBI knock to center field by LCA standout Princeton Malbrue. Another hit batter loaded the bases for the Warriors again with no outs and spelled the end of the day for Broussard.
The Millers turned to ace hurler Peyton Thibodeaux, who struck out Reggie Guillory for the first out.
The Warriors tied the game one batter later, however, on a perfectly-executed squeeze bunt by Reed Freeman.
With two outs, the Warriors worked a pair of full counts and turned them into walks to plate another run before Devin Nicholls delivered a two-run single to right field.
When the dust had settled, the Warriors had pushed across five runs on three hits, two walks and two hit batters to take a 5-2 advantage.
The Millers looked as if they would rally in the top of the seventh when Seth Benoit reached base on a leadoff error and Ethan Mack drilled a shot right field.
A base-running blunder thwarted a potential big inning, however, when Mack attempted to turn the hit into a triple. But Benoit was held at third base, resulting in the second out.
Landry followed with an RBI single and Julian Harvey extended the game with a single of his own.
Lafosse avoided any further damage by striking out the next batter to end the game.
In all, the Millers stranded eight base runners, including six in the first three innings.
The Millers were once again led by Landry and Mack with two hits each.
Mack went 2-for-3 with a double and Landry had a pair of singles and an RBI.
Cary had a home run and Seth Benoit doubled.
In addition, Tucker Babineaux and Harvey each singled.
Malbrue and Nicholls paced the Warriors with two hits apiece.
Broussard suffered the loss on the mound after surrendering four runs on six hits and four walks. He struck out three in five innings.
Thibodeaux allowed one run on one hit and a pair of walks. He struck out two in one inning of relief work.
Lafosse logged the victory for the Warriors after allowing three runs on eight hits and three walks. He struck out six in the complete-game, 111-pitch outing.
The Millers return to action tonight when they play host to the Notre Dame Pios at Miller Stadium. First pitch for that game is slated for 7 p.m.