Back to Crosby: Vidrine goes distance, shuts out Eagles

Published 12:20 am Saturday, May 20, 2017

PORT NECHES — The issue will be settled in Crosby on Saturday.

Nathan Vidrine saved the season again for Port Neches-Groves and tossed his second complete game in a week Friday. He went hitless through four innings and finished with three hits allowed and struck out seven, and the Indians backed him up with an 8-0 win.

“Coach [Scott] Carter said usually I give up three runs in the first inning,” Vidrine said. “So, he said if we can get past the first inning, the team would fall on my back and we would start hitting. That’s what we did.”

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Just the night before, Barbers Hill beat PNG in Mont Belvieu, 6-0. That meant it was Vidrine’s turn to rescue the Indians.

Vidrine went the distance last Saturday in PNG’s 4-3 comeback win over Manvel at Crosby High to claim that series. Crosby will be the scene for PNG’s and Barbers Hill‘s decisive Game 3 of a 5A Region III quarterfinal at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.

“You’re looking at, in my opinion, two of the better baseball teams,” Carter said. “They showed it on Thursday, and we showed it on Friday. I think tomorrow, it can be anybody’s ballgame. When you get to Game 3, anything can happen.”

Vidrine, who threw 81 pitches Friday, believes the series has totally shifted in PNG’s favor and the Indians will benefit from playing in a familiar place.

“They have a long bus ride home,” Vidrine said of Barbers Hill. “We play there [at Crosby] all the time, so that’s not nothing to us. We’re going to come out like we did tonight.”

The loss ended a 21-game winning streak for Barbers Hill (29-4), which had outscored its opponents 21-0 in the playoffs.

The Indians (27-7-2) came alive on their home turf and tagged the Eagles’ pitchers for nine hits. Barbers Hill starter Bryce Bonnin, who signed with Arkansas in November, was chased after allowing three earned runs on four hits in four innings.

“Bryce Bonnin is the real deal,” Carter said. “He is worthy of the SEC and being at Arkansas, and I am pleased we came out and hit the ball the way we did. We’ve been a good fastball-hitting team all year, and [Friday] was no different.”

Austin Bost and Jacob Vaughan each had two hits to lead the Indians. Vaughan smacked a one-run triple into right field and scored on a Hayden Guerra sacrifice fly in the second inning to make it a 3-0 lead. Guerra led the game off with a double and scored on a wild pitch.

Holden Lane gave PNG its second triple in the fourth and came home on Vaughan’s single.

PNG produced three runs on three hits and three walks in the fifth to blow the lead open. Two of the walks were bases loaded, with Trevor Martin hitting a one-run single.

The bases were loaded again in the sixth, and Courtland Sullivan took advantage with a one-run single.

Logan LeJeune had the other hit for the Indians, who tried to turn a 6-4-3 double play to end the game when interference at second base was called against Barbers Hill following the tag there.

Cully Mangus went 2 for 3 with a double to lead Barbers Hill. Bonnin singled in the sixth inning.

Kade Davis allowed a hit to each of the two PNG batters he faced and was charged with two runs. Pito Herrera walked two and allowed an earned run on one hit in one-third inning, and Tucker Hudgins finished the other 1 2/3 giving up a run on two hits.

I.C. Murrell: 721-2435. Twitter: @ICMurrellPANews

About I.C. Murrell

I.C. Murrell was promoted to editor of The News, effective Oct. 14, 2019. He previously served as sports editor since August 2015 and has won or shared eight first-place awards from state newspaper associations and corporations. He was born in Memphis, Tennessee, grew up mostly in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and graduated from the University of Arkansas at Monticello.

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