Brandon Bourgeois, Luke Poche earn honors in national tournament

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 26, 2006

On July 16 the Lutcher Baseball Academy Bulldogs 12-year-olds, captured the USSSA 12-U AA World Series Championship in Beaumont, TX.

The Lutcher Baseball Academy (LBA), a first year team out of Lutcher LA, is comprised of 11 and 12 year old ball players and coached by Shane Trosclair and Lee Roussel. LBA earned a World Series birth by winning the Battle in Baton Rouge III at Oak Villa and placing 2nd in the USSSA North State Tournament in Natchitoches, LA.

The World Series started off with an opening ceremony and pin trading session on July 10 where players from all teams traded team pins, beads and other team collectibles. Games were played from July 11-16.

On the opening day of pool play at Ford Park in Beaumont, TX, had LBA taking on Gators Baseball from Carriere, LA. The Bulldogs started out slow and lost to the Gators 7-2. Top hitters for the Bulldogs in this game were Cody Calderera and Luke Poche, each with one hit apiece.

The next day of play wasn’t much better, with the Bulldogs losing to the Bayou Braves from Lafayette, LA, 5-3. Top hitters for that game were Poche and Cody Duhon, with three hits, and Calderera and Brandon Bourgeois with a hit for each of them.

The two losses put LBA as the number 17 seed for the double elimination tournament that started on July 13th. As the 17th seed, the Bulldogs took on the 16th seeded Spring Kline Diamondbacks from Spring, TX, in Game 1 of the double-elimination tournament. Here, the Bulldogs scored early and often beating the D’backs 11-6. Top hitters for this game were Austin Brack, Logan Gravois, Jesse Guidry and Brandon Bourgeois, each recording two hits, and Cody Duhon with one hit for the game.

During Game 2, on Thursday afternoon, the Bulldogs faced off against the number one seeded Houston Ravens. The Bulldogs scored first in this contest in what turned out to be a very tight ball game behind a great pitching effort from Dax Prejean, who threw a complete game. Lutcher upset the top seeded Ravens by a score of 4 – 3. Top hitters for this game were Calderera, Duhon, Thomas Waguespack, Cody Hotard, Brack and Guidry, each with a hit.

In Game 3 the Bulldogs again upset another top ranked team. This time it was the number three seed, the Louisiana Wolverines, who fell by the score of 4 – 0. Cody Hotard made his best pitching performance of the year. Hotard pitched a complete game, one-hit shutout in facing only 19 batters in six innings. Top hitters were Poche, with three hits, Bourgeois, with two, and Brack and Duhon, with one hit each. This victory put LBA in the quarterfinals in the winners’ bracket.

Game 4 took place on Friday afternoon where the Bulldogs once again toppled another top-ranked team in defeating the number four seeded NEO Renegades by a score of 14 – 5. Again, the Bulldogs scored fast and often, and behind another great pitching performance and complete game from Thomas Waguespack, they got the impressive win. To get the rally started, Logan Aubert laid down a perfect squeeze bunt to score the go-ahead run. After that, the Bulldogs pounded the Renegades pitchers for the rest of the game. Top hitters were Prejean, with three hits, to go along with Calderera, Poche, Waguespack and Hotard, who each had two hits. Bourgeois, Duhon and Guidry also recorded one hit apiece.

In Game 5 the Bulldogs faced the number eight seed in the Louisiana Outlaws for the semi-finals of the winners’ bracket. Yet again, LBA scored first, and behind some great defensive plays in the infield and diving catches in the outfield, LBA beat the Outlaws 6 – 2 to advance to the Championship game. Prejean pitched another complete game here and top hitters were Bourgeois, with 2 hits, and Brack, Poche and Waguespack, with one hit each.

On July 16th Lutcher played in Game 6, the Championship game, where the LBA Bulldogs again faced off against the NEO Renegades. The Renegades would have to beat the Bulldogs twice to capture the title, but with both teams struggling through temperatures in the high 90’s and the smoldering sun, runs were hard to come by. The game was nip and tuck, and going into the sixth and final inning, with the game tied at 4. Things quickly heated up, however, when Lutcher’s Jesse Guidry reached first on a strikeout error on the Renegades’ catcher, and Brandon Bourgeois scored from third to break the tie and make it 5-4. Just two batters later, Dax Prejean would single to score Logan Gravois and Lutcher’s final run of the night would come on an RBI single by Cody Calderera, to score Guidry from third and give the Bulldogs a 7-4 lead. The Renegades, with that never say die attitude made a run for the win, but came up short in only scoring 2 runs and loosing the game 7 – 6. The Bulldogs pitchers combined for the win with Hotard going 3 1/3 innings, Duhon 1 2/3 innings and Brack pitching the last inning. Top hitters were Bourgeois, Calderera and Duhon with 2 hits each, and Brack, Hotard and Prejean with 1 hit each. After the last out, the Lutcher Baseball Academy Bulldogs rushed the field and had a World Series Pile up on the mound.

During the awarding of the championship trophies and runner up trophies, two of the LBA Bulldogs were honored. Luke Poche, who was the Bulldogs catcher, hit .500 throughout the entire tournament and was named to the All Tournament team. Brandon Bourgeois, who played left field and first base, hit .455 and was named team MVP.

LBA would like to thank all the parents, fans and sponsors for their support this year.