Crowley High coach Christian Doughty isn’t the least bit surprised that his Gents are off to such a great start in the District 4-4A baseball race.
The Gents are loaded with returning starters, only missing two, in fact, from a 20-win squad a year ago that made it to the second round of the state playoffs.
Even better, of the seven juniors and one senior starting every day, four members of the junior crop have been starting since they were freshmen.
“Oh yeah,” Doughty laughed. “We paid our dues.”
And now the Gents are reaping.
Going into Tuesday’s 6 p.m. home game against the Beau Chene Gators at Miller Stadium in Crowley, the Gents are 17-2 overall and a perfect 6-0 in league play.
“We expected to have a pretty good club,” Doughty said. “We’ve just been very solid with our pitching and defensively. Offensively, we’ve had our moments. But for the most part, it’s been our pitching and defense.”
With a home ball park like Miller Stadium, which Doughty described as “probably the biggest high school park in the state,” it makes strategic sense to build your team around pitching and defense.
For starters, “the home run doesn’t come into play very often,” and secondly, it’s not a good place for slow outfielders to roam due to how overly large the outfield is.
But while things are certainly going the Gents way through the first round of league play, Doughty has been around long enough to know how quickly things can change.
Tied for second place in the standings are Beau Chene and Eunice at 4-2 apiece. Crowley defeated the Gators 4-1 in extra innings in the first meeting and the Bobcats 3-2 in the bottom of the seventh.
While the rematch with Beau Chene is Tuesday, the trip to Eunice will be on April 21.
“Obviously, we easily could have been one of the teams 4-2 right now,” Doughty said. “We did very well in the first round, but we know that we still have a lot of work to do. Those teams are very capable of beating us.
“Beau Chene has a very scrappy team. They play very hard. They’re very solid defensively and they throw a lot of strikes.”
The Gents sport a lot of depth on the mound with Ben Broussard, Pate Broussard and Hayden Erbe making up the district rotation. At the plate, Crowley is led by catcher Alex Ashby, shortstop Pate Broussard and freshman third baseman Will Doughty.
While the Gents are currently No. 4 in the latest Class 4A power rankings, Crowley would still love to wrap up a district title along the way.
“We would definitely like to win a district championship,” Doughty said. “The good thing is that a lot of our district games are solid power ranking games. But it’s really more of a pride thing. You want to win your district championship.”
3-5A – Acadiana (13-8, 5-1) at Barbe (20-6, 4-2), Sulphur (24-0, 6-0) at Lafayette High (17-5, 5-1), Comeaux (6-15, 1-5) at Sam Houston (17-9, 2-4), New Iberia (6-13, 0-6) at Carencro (8-14, 1-5).
4-4A – Beau Chene (13-6, 4-1) at Crowley (17-2, 6-0), Opelousas (4-12, 2-3) at Eunice (12-8, 4-2), Washington-Marion (3-7, 0-5) at Rayne (5-11, 1-4).
5-4A – St. Thomas More (13-8, 5-0) at Cecilia (15-3, 4-1), St. Martinville (10-7, 3-2) at Teurlings (14-7, 3-1), Northside (1-13, 0-4) at Breaux Bridge (6-13, 1-3).
4-3A – Iota (6-12, 1-3) at Jennings (10-11, 2-2).
5-3A – Northwest (12-5, 1-3) at Church Point (5-14, 1-4), Port Barre (10-8, 5-0) at Livonia (13-4, 4-0), Pine Prairie (12-7, 3-2) at Ville Platte (0-11, 0-5).
6-3A – Erath (12-7, 0-2) at Kaplan (6-12, 2-2), North Vermilion (16-3, 2-0) at West St. Mary (0-7, 0-4), Loyola Prep at Notre Dame (13-8, 4-0)-WEDNESDAY.
5-2A – Delcambre (11-5, 4-0) at Catholic-NI (9-9, 3-1), Jeanerette (0-11, 0-4) at Opelousas Catholic (13-6, 2-2), Westminster (5-12, 0-4) at Loreauville (11-5, 3-1).
5-1A – St. Edmund (15-4) at Catholic-PC (7-15), False River (2-14) at Sacred Heart-VP (17-2).
7-1A – Highland Baptist (4-12, 1-2) at Ascension Episcopal (10-7, 2-2), Vermilion Catholic (8-10, 2-1) at Hanson (14-2, 4-0), Gueydan (1-8, 0-3) at Lafayette Christian (1-9, 0-4), CCMC (14-4, 4-1) off.
B-C – ESA (5-7) OFF; Northside Christian (7-8) OFF.