By Lori Lyons, Rougarou Writer


The Baton Rouge Rougarou just aren’t ready for the summer to end.

In a win-or-go-home regular season finale against the defending Texas Collegiate League Champion Acadiana Cane Cutters, the Rougarou had to rally once to take the lead then again in the 10th inning to take a 9-8 victory and secure the final spot in the TCL playoffs.

The Rougarou will host the Brazos Valley Bombers Tuesday in the first game of a best two-out-of-three series. The winner will play the winner of the series between the Victoria Generals and the Seguin River Monsters in one championship game on Saturday.

After losing the last three games, the Rougarou and Acadiana were tied for the last remaining spot in the standings, setting up Sunday’s showdown at Acadiana.

And it didn’t look good for Baton Rouge in the early going. Acadiana scored three runs in the bottom of the first inning and held a 4-1 lead after five innings of play.

But the Rougarou rallied in the top of the sixth, scoring four runs on five hits. With two runs in the seventh and one in the eighth, they padded that lead to 8-4.

But Acadiana came back to tie in the bottom of the ninth as the Rougarou dug into its bullpen, scoring the game-tying run on a 2-run single two outs. The Cane Cutters attempted to score what would have been the game-winning run on a wild pitch, but catcher Rougarou catcher Adamo Stornello wasn’t having it. The ball bounced off the back wall and right into Stornello’s hands and he was able to tag the runner out at home. He also threw out two runners attempting to steal second, blocked several balls in the dirt and had an RBI single in the sixth.

The Rougarou needed only one half-inning to take the lead again. With Walters at second to start the 10th inning under the International Tie-breaker Rule, Landrey Wilkerson bunted for a hit then stole second. That set up Grines, who singled to score the go-ahead run.

Acadiana still had life in the bottom of the 10th, loading the bases with the tie-breaker runner, a walk and a single, but groundout to second base ended the threat and the game.

“The guys never gave up and they fought all 10 innings and gave it all they had,” said Rougarou coach Cody Jamison.