Otto Candies advances to Mid-South Regional

Published 12:06 pm Friday, August 3, 2012




LAFAYETTE — Otto Candies coach David Baudry likes to tell his team of the rallies he’s seen and been a part of over the years — the moral being that a mentally strong team will not be finished by an early deficit.

For the second time in as many games against Brother Martin-based Peake BMW, his players showed they’ve been heeding his advice.

Hahnville-based Otto Candies rallied back from a 3-0 deficit to defeat Peake BMW, 7-5, at the American Legion state baseball tournament at Louisiana-Lafayette’s Tigue Moore Field Tuesday.

The game was for high stakes, the winner clinching not only a spot in the state championship game (see lead story) but also a berth in the Mid-South national regional next week at Kirsch-Rooney Stadium in New Orleans.

“I’ve experienced the Mid-South Regional before. It’s a wonderful experience, and I wanted them to have that,” said Baudry. “We were able to come out and get it done today.”

Added leadoff hitter Travis Faucheaux, who collected three RBIs, “This was a goal of ours since the beginning of summer. We went back to fundamentals, worked our at-bats deep into the count. We had to reach down (to rally back) and decide we really wanted this.”

Otto Candies also trailed by a 3-0 score in the ninth inning of its Southeast Regional victory over Peake, scoring three ninth inning runs to force extra innings and an eventual 4-3 win — that also, incidentally, clinched a berth for Otto Candies at the state tournament.

“I thought today’s game had a different feel to it. We were trying to go a thousand miles an hour,” said Baudry. Guys were trying to do too much.

“Easton Melancon had a tremendous at-bat down 0-2, where he fought back and drew a walk. That fired our guys up and I think took some wind out of their sails … after that, we seemed like we settled down and started playing with patience.”

Peake led 3-0 in the fifth inning when Otto Candies fired back. With one out, Connor Lorio got things started with an infield single, then Tyler Lamers reached on an error. Lorio scored on an errant pickoff attempt to make it 3-1. Easton Melancon and Dylan Keller each walked to load the bases, then Peake starter Jonathan Ebersole hit Ty Cologne to force in another run. Travis Faucheaux singled to tie the game at 3-3.

That chased Ebersole and Corey Gagoni came on in relief. Tyler Simmons hit a fly ball to the outfield that plated Keller for the go-ahead run.

Peake answered to tie the game in the top of the sixth. William Douglass, Brice Johnson and Greg Deichmann each walked to load the bases, setting up a Daniel Lahare sacrifice fly to tie the game. But reliever Cody Farrell got out of the inning with no further damage inflicted.

Otto Candies took the lead for good in the inning’s bottom half. Lorio again led the charge with a single to lead off, then he stole second and advanced to third on a Lamers bunt. Melancon drove him in with a single to make it 5-4.

Keller and Cologne each singled after Melancon was caught stealing second. Otto Candies stayed aggressive, the two runners stealing second and third respectively before Faucheaux drove them in with a two-run single to make it 7-4.

“I was down 0-2 and fought back to get the count to 2-2,” said Faucheaux. “I stayed back and eventually I got a pitch on the outside and I was able to do what I needed to do with it.”

Peake added a run in the eighth on an RBI walk by Lahare, but got no closer.

Farrell earned the win for Otto Candies after coming on in relief of starter Tyler Simmons. Brooks Vial pitched three innings and earned the save.

Peake went ahead 3-0 on a third-inning RBI single by Peyton Senner, a fourth inning error and a fourth-inning sacrifice fly by Deichmann for an RBI.

But it’s Otto Candies that will continue moving on into the summer season, its national title aspirations still alive. Even if those seemed bleak at times.

“This is a team that fell to 6-12 in the prep season, then won 18 straight games. We didn’t always play well for those 18 wins, but these kids fought hard every time,” said Baudry. “This team is really playing with an awful lot of confidence.”