The ride for 10 Minden seniors came to an end Tuesday as No. 1 seed St. Thomas More erased a Crimson Tide lead for a 3-2 second-round win.
The Cougars scored two fifth-inning runs to wipe out a 2-1 Minden lead with back-to-back RBI singles to right field by Mason Templet (1-2, 2 RBIs) and Sam Houston (1-3, RBI) to regain the lead.
The 3-2 advantage proved to be more than enough for the Cougars, as they brought in the hard-throwing Wyatt Marks in relief of starting pitcher Brennan Breaux.
Marks made sure the Crimson Tide (18-15) didn’t get an opportunity to tie or take the lead as he pitched two perfect innings including three strikeouts to record the save and propel the Cougars into the Class 4A quarterfinals where they will play host to Rayne.
Breaux earned the victory for the Cougars as he allowed two unearned runs on two hits, two walks and one hit batter, while striking out nine in five innings of work.
Minden starter Carson Bolyer received the loss after allowing three runs (two earned) on seven hits, two walks and two hit batters, while striking out four in four and 2⁄3innings.
The Cougars took an early 1-0 lead on a sacrifice fly to left field by Templet in the bottom of the first inning.
Minden took the lead with a two-run fifth inning that was propelled by some small ball and a couple of mistakes by the Cougars.
Minden’s Caleb Jones led off the inning with a walk, advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt and was moved to third on another sacrifice bunt this time by Gavin Smith, who reached safely on the play after the ball came out of Sam Houston’s glove while applying the tag.
Mikey James made STM pay for the error as he successfully executed the suicide squeeze to plate Jones and tie the game at 1-1 with Smith advancing to second and two outs.
On a 3-2 pitch to the next batter, Smith stole third base and came around to score on a throwing error by Vallot to give Minden a 2-1 advantage.
Minden appeared to be on the verge of extending their lead after Austin Sumner drew a two-out walk and looked to be well on his way to scoring from first on a double down the left field line by Turner Francis.
But STM got the ball back to the infield and Sumner attempted to return to third, but was tagged out to end the inning and the threat.