By Lori Lyons, Rougarou Writer
Summer may be coming to a close, but the Baton Rouge Rougarou don’t appear to be cooling off anytime soon.
The Rougarou closed out the Texas Collegiate League regular season with back-to-back wins over their I-10 rival, winning 15-12 on Saturday at 13-6 on Sunday.
The team is getting hot right when it needs to be. After finishing the first half of the season 7-15, in fourth place and eight and a half games out of first, Baton Rouge went 12-6-1 in the second half to finish two games out of first. The Rougarou has scored 28 runs on 21 hits in their last two games and had a 10-run inning in Saturday’s 15-12 win.
“We are extremely pleased with the way our kids are competing,” said Rougarou coach Wes Theriot. “It took a little while to get to a place where all three phases of the game were clicking at the same time. Our kids have shown some toughness and gone through some rough times and I’m happy for them with the success we have had in the second half. We have earned a spot in the playoffs and I definitely would not want to play us right now.”
Acadiana has no choice.
The Rougarou will host the Cane Cutters Tuesday night at 7 p.m. at Pete Goldsby Field in the first game of a best-of-three playoff series for a spot in the TCL championship game. The Cane Cutters will host Wednesday night’s game at Fabacher Field in Youngsville and Thursday’s if-necessary game. The winner of the series will meet the winner of the series between the Brazos Valley Bombers and the Victoria Generals on Saturday.
Sunday night the Rougarou finished with 10 hits and took advantage of five Cane Cutters errors plus six walks. Landry Wilkerson went 2-for-4 with a triple, a double, three RBIs and two runs scored. Monray Van der Walt went 3-for-5 with three RBIs. Brennan Holt and Parker Coley also hit doubles.
The Cane Cutters managed eight hits off of four Rougarou pitchers, who walked nine and struck out five. Cage Chaney picked up the win.
For the second night in a row, the Rougarou put together a big comeback inning to take the lead. After giving up two runs in the first inning, Baton Rouge scored six runs in the bottom of the third on three runs and with the help of two Acadiana errors.
Derrald Moore led off with a walk, followed by Holt’s walk. Reed Eason reached on an error that moved Holt to third and let Moore score. Lane Hutchinson reached on another error before Wilkerson tripled to clear the bases and give the Rougarou a 4-2 lead. Coley doubled, then Van der Walt singled to score Wilkerson and Coley and make it 6-2.
Acadiana scored three runs in the top of the fourth to make it 6-5, but the Rougarou came back for three more in the bottom of the frame. Leading off again, Moore was hit by a pitch then Holt walked. Eason reached on an error and Moore scored. Hutchinson drove in Holt with a grounder and Eason scored when the ball got away.
The Rougarou added four more runs in the eighth when Holt doubled and went to third on a wild pitch. He scored on a sacrifice fly by Eason. Hutchinson singled, Wilkerson doubled and Coley walked to load the bases. Van der Walt hit a ball to left field that was misplayed, allowing all three runners to score.