BASEBALL: Sixth-inning comeback helps Bulldogs end Indians’ district winning streak at 31

Published 11:02 pm Tuesday, March 27, 2018

PORT NECHES — Thanks to a pivotal sixth inning, Nederland actually leads Port Neches-Groves in District 22-5A baseball, a position the Bulldogs have waited a while to be in.

The Bulldogs plated four runs on three hits to give Braydon Credeur run support and held on for a 6-5 victory Tuesday night, ending the Indians’ 31-game district winning streak.

This was Bryan Spell’s first victory over PNG in three seasons as head coach.

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“This was definitely a big win as far as district goes,” Spell said. “We’ve just got to get another big win on Thursday. We’re going to let the kids enjoy this tonight.”

Nederland (13-5-1, 5-0 in 22-5A) has won eight of its last nine.

Credeur, who signed with Lamar in the fall, struck out eight and allowed four earned runs on five hits in six innings.

“The other team played well, but it just came down to who hit the most,” Credeur said. “I just tried to stay within myself and not overdo myself and just pitch hard.”

But PNG sophomore Carson Roccaforte kept the game interesting with his second home run off Credeur in the bottom of the sixth, narrowing the deficit to 6-5.

Roccaforte, who went 4 for 4 with two doubles, also smashed a two-run homer in the third inning to give the Indians (10-8-3, 4-1) a 2-1 lead. Austin Bost also scored.

Holden Lane made it 3-1 that inning after Cameron Stansbury reached on a dropped pop-up.

Nederland’s Alex Ortiz (2 for 4) lined a one-run single in the fourth to score Case Babino and followed up Wade Butler’s one-out double in the sixth with a single to continue the Bulldogs’ pivotal rally. Brian Davila then had an RBI single to narrow PNG’s lead to 4-3.

That chased Indians starter Josh Hranicky, who delivered 12 strikeouts but had allowed six hits.

Ortiz scored the tying run on a passed ball, Trenton Simon gave the Bulldogs the lead on a sacrifice fly to left field, and Hiltz made it 6-4 on another passed ball.

Conner Kemp came on in the seventh and induced a fly out before Drake Varnado walked. Varnado was then caught stealing second before Kemp struck out Cameron Stansbury to earn the save.

Khristian Curtis had faced two batters in relief of Hranicky before Lane came on and retired four of his six batters, walking two. He got Ortiz to hit into a double play in the top of the seventh.

Simon hit a one-run single in the third to put Nederland on the board. Bost singled in the bottom of the fourth and came around on a Hranicky sac grounder to give PNG a 4-2 lead at the time.

Alec LeBouef also had a single for the Indians.

The return game is set for 7 p.m. Thursday in Nederland.

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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