Gamble pays off for Bossier Parish
By By Austin Bishop/Special to The Star
May 11, 2001
MERIDIAN Bossier Parish (La.) Community College head baseball coach Jay Artigues was a gambling man Thursday afternoon.
He rolled the dice by throwing his No. 3 starter in the opening game of the NJCAA Division I Region 23 Baseball Tournament being played at Meridian Community College's Scaggs Field.
The gamble paid off as the Cavaliers scored three runs in the top of the ninth to take a 9-6 win over Mississippi Delta Community College.
Bossier scored three runs in the first and two more in the second to jump out to a 5-0 lead, only to have Mississippi Delta chip away and finally score two runs in the bottom of the seventh to tie the game at 6-6.
With the game tied and Delta (28-18) still threatening, Melancon (4-3) came in to get the last out in the seventh and then allowed just one hit over the last two innings to pick up the win.
Justin Guy led off the top of the BPCC ninth with a single to right that got by the right fielder for a two-base error, giving the Cavaliers a runner on third with nobody out.
Justin Bourque, who had a big day for the Cavs at the plated, belted a homer into the netting behind the right-field fence to put Bossier up 8-6. Bossier Parish then added an insurance run when Mike Forbes reached on an error and scored on Eric Emfinger's double to center field.
Artigues said he was pleased with the way his team scratched out the win in the ninth, but did say that his 44-13 Cavaliers had a chance to put the game away early.
Bossier took a 3-0 lead in the top of the first behind a two-run homer off the bat of Jack Ritchie. The Cavaliers made it 5-0 with two more runs in the second thanks to an RBI single by Ryan Frith and a sacrifice fly off the bat of Mike Forbes.
Delta scored a single run in the bottom on a solo homer by Keith Fitzgerald.
After Bossier picked up an unearned run in the fifth, the Trojans answered with three in the bottom of the inning behind consecutive hits off the bats of Joe Taylor, Juan Ortiz, Steven Martin and Sid Naron.
Delta then tied the game with two runs in the bottom of the second thanks to a two-run single by Casey Smith.
Bossier moves on to play the winner of Thursday night's Meridian Community College-Jones County Junior College game at 7 p.m. today in the six-team, double-elimination tournament.
Delta will play at 4 p.m. today against Mississippi Gulf Coast, an 18-7 opening-day winner over Northeast Mississippi.
Gulf Coast 18, Northeast 7: The Bulldogs scored three runs in the top of the eighth to break a 7-7 tie and tacked on eight more in the ninth to roll to an 11-run win in the day's second game.
Gulf Coast jumped out to a 7-1 lead, but Northeast got three runs in the third inning, two in the fifth, and one in the seventh to tie the game at 7-7.
The Bulldogs, 29-22, used four consecutive singles in the eighth to take a three-run lead. Sophomore right-hander Joseph Davenport pitched two strong innings of relief to run his record to 7-0.
Randy Redmond had a huge day for Gulf Coast, banging out two home runs, two singles, and driving in seven runs. Fred Lewis and Scotty Scott had three hits each for Gulf Coast which plays Mississippi Delta today at 4 p.m.
Mike Thrash and Scott hit homers for Gulf Coast, while Tim Klick had a homer, two singles, and three RBIs for the Tigers, 21-20, who will play the Meridian-Jones County Junior College loser at 1 p.m. today.