Baseball teams vie to meet in state championship

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 7, 2002


HAHNVILLE – The Airline Vikings kicked off Tuesday’s Class 5A bi-district playoff match with aggressive deep-field hitting for an early 2-0 lead, but the Tigers capitalized on their six errors to capture the win in eight innings 4-3.

Airline allowed only two Hahnville hits until the eighth inning, when the Vikings committed two of their errors and the Tigers doubled their hits with a shot from Landan Braud to the short stop and another from Jarrod Farrell to the right fielder. The Viking lost the ball in the sun over his shoulder, giving Braud’s pinch runner, Charlie Harrell, the open door to cross home plate for the winning Tiger run and following celebration.

Hahnville coach Mark Sims mistakes, but if the Airline team would not have made its mistakes, the Vikings probably would have won 2-0.

“When I saw them on our bracket I shook my head. They swung the bat really, really well,” said Sims, “but I was determined they wouldn’t beat us.”

The Tigers looked like they had already been beaten after the first inning, as the first Airline batter delivered a single, then the second brought the ball to the center field wall and score to 1-0. The second batter tried to stretch his stand-up double in to a triple and was called out sliding to third. However, the Vikings revenged their fallen teammate with a homerun from the next batter. Offensively, the Tigers put up three batters for three outs during their first inning attempt. The Vikings continued aiming their bats to the sky, but their fate twisted to a quick three up and three down for the second and third innings. Slowly, the Tigers built up their steam and in the third inning, placed runners on second and third bases with a walk, single and sacrifice bunt. With the scene set, a Braud chop-hit sent Bourgeois in to score Hahnville’s first run. Another chop-hit by Kyle Mineo evened the score at two, before the third out of the third inning was called. The Tigers’ defense kept Airline contained by leaving two runners stranded in both the fourth and fifth innings. The Vikings kept one Hahnville runner on base in the fourth, but Mineo delivered a line drive past the pitcher to bring in Steven Burns for Hahnville’s 3-2 lead in the fifth. The Vikings quickly placed two runners on base with no outs in the sixth inning, but both were left on the bags as the Tigers brought up three outs from the next three batters. With one group of Airline batters between themselves and the playoff win, Hahnville struck out the first batter, threw the second out at first. However the third time was the charm for Airline, as their second home run tied the score at three. The Tigers went three up and three down to close the seventh inning, then gave up a walk to start the eighth. But the Tigers timing fell into place with a double play, then catch in left-center field for three Airline outs. Hahnville then stepped up with their two hits for the winning run.

“I knew we had their 2, 3 and 4 batters coming and our guy (Farrell) was up to 105 pitches. Realistically I knew we had to score,” said Sims.