Rummel rallies to beat Byrd, advances to Sulphur
NEW ORLEANS – Good teams overcome adversity.
There was plenty of adversity for Archbishop Rummel to overcome Friday afternoon at Kirsch-Rooney Stadium.
The Raiders (21-12) were down three runs with three innings remaining. Their outstanding starting pitcher would have to depart after five innings due to pitch count. The Rummel defense was leaky, committing four errors.
Still the fourth-seeded Raiders found a way, outscoring No. 5 Byrd 11-8 to sweep the best-of-three series in two games after Rummel won 5-2 on Thursday.
The Raiders banged out 12 hits and once again came through in the clutch, scoring seven runs with two outs and they need nearly all of them before it was over.
Rummel grabbed the lead in the top of the third. With two outs, Lance Johnson walked and Kade Rivera singled to center off the glove of a diving Ashton Nelson, scoring Johnson to make it 1-0.
The Raiders added a run in the top of the fourth on singles by Kyle Walker and Chandler Fields and an RBI single by Jackson Dennies to make it 2-0.
Byrd (20-17) came up with the huge inning in the bottom of the fourth, scoring five runs. Henry Lott had an infield hit, Ryan Todd reached on an error and Matt Randall reached on an infield hit to load the bases with no outs.
With one out, Jake Harris was hit by a pitch to score a run, making it 3-1. Charlie Barham doubled home a pair of runs to give the Yellow Jackets a 3-2 lead. A wild pitch scored another run to make it 4-2 before Cole Joyner plated a fifth run on a sacrifice fly to make it 5-2.
Rummel fought back to recapture the lead the top of the fifth, Johnson reached on an error before Rivera and Ron Franklin singled to load the bases, ending the day on the mound for Randall.
Mason Langdon took over and struck out Kyle Walker but he walked Fields to score a run and walked Tyler Cook to plate another to make it 5-4. With two outs, Logan Bertucci lined a two-run single to left, scoring a pair or runners to make it 6-5.
“We came back knowing we had to chip away and I went up to the at-bat knowing I was going to get a fastball because the guy was struggling,” Bertucci said. “I had a 2-1 count and I knew the fastball was coming. I got my foot down and I just hit it. When we were down, everybody was up, came together as a team and we fought, we came back.”
The Raiders got insurance in the top of the sixth inning as Johnson was hit by a pitch, Rivera singled and Walker reached on an error, scoring a run to make it 7-5. After Fields walked to load the bases, Dennies came through with a two-out, two-run double to left to make it 9-5.
The Raiders finished it off in the top of the seventh, scoring twice more on a two-out, two-run single by Walker to make it 11-5.
The Yellow Jackets went down fighting, scoring three runs in the top of seventh inning, scoring three runs on a pair of errors.
Rummel coach Nick Monica has his Raiders heading to Sulphur for the second time in three seasons.
“No doubt, that’s what it’s all about, the win-loss column,” Monica said. “I guess we played a little bit better than they did today. The lineup did a great job, especially answering the big inning by them. The last five innings, we put something up there (on the scoreboard). I thought he biggest inning was the top of the fifth, obviously, not just the four-spot but the fact that we answered their five runs.”
Rummel committed four errors in the game, allowing five unearned runs while Byrd committed two errors, allowing six unearned runs.
“We knew it was going to be a good atmosphere playing against a quality opponent like Rummel,” Byrd coach Greg Williams said .”They swing it well and pitch it well. We had some opportunities but did not capitalize. Still, we fought hard and competed to the end. We just couldn’t get over the hump. Things just didn’t go our way. Some days it falls for you, some days it does not. I am encouraged about our future.”
Junior Matt Villa picked up the win, going five innings. Villa allowed five runs (three earned) on six hits. He walked three and struck out eight. Hayden Elwell finished the game as he did on Thursday, going two innings, allowing three unearned runs on three hits with a pair of strikeouts.
Mason Langdon took the loss in relief, allowing four unearned runs on three hits in one and two-thirds innings in relief of Randall, who went four innings, allowing five runs (three earned) on seven hits with two walks and four strikeouts. Evan Adcock finished up, going the final one and a third innings, allowing two earned runs on two hits with a walk.
Walker and Dennies each had two hits and two RBI while Rivera had three hits and an RBI and Fields had two hits, two walks and an RBI to pace the Raiders. Lott has a pair of hits and two runs scored for the Yellow Jackets.
Rummel has now won six straight games heading to the semifinals in Sulphur.
What does it mean to Monica, in his last year as baseball coach at Rummel before he takes over the Raider football program?
“It means a lot, obviously, any coach who is a competitor wants to keep playing,” Monica said. I told the guys I wanted them to extend me a week of baseball. I’m just happy for them. When we started this a long time ago when the announcement came out, it was a goal. We didn’t know how achievable it was but they bought in. We’ve been talking about it since day one.”
The Raiders will face No. 1 Catholic of Baton Rouge after the Bears battled back from a series-opening loss to beat No. 9 Holy Cross twice. The Rummel-Catholic semifinal contest is set for next Thursday at McMurry Park at 4:30 p.m.
RUM 001 143 2 — 11 12 2, 9 LOB
Byrd 000 500 3 — 8 9 4, 10 LOB
WP—Matt Villa (5-2)
LP—Mason Langdon (2-1)
Time of Game: 2:51
2B—Charlie Barham, Jackson Dennies
LHSAA Baseball Brackets
Born and raised in the New Orleans area, CCSE Owner and CEO Ken Trahan has been a sports media fixture in the community for nearly four decades. Ken started NewOrleans.com/Sports with Bill Hammack and Don Jones in 2008. In 2011, the site became SportsNOLA.com. On August 1, 2017, Ken helped launch CrescentCitySports.com. Having accumulated national awards/recognition (National Football Foundation, College…