Flames send off retiring Herd with Class C championship
SULPHUR — If the Family Christian Academy Flames felt any pressure in returning to the baseball state championship game for the third time in four years, it did not show.
The Flames gave retiring coach Robin Herd a going-away present, rolling past Claiborne Christian 7-1 in the Class C title game on Saturday at the LHSAA/State Farm State Baseball Tournament.
Zach Osbon scored to give the Crusaders a 1-0 lead in the first inning, but after that, it was all FCA.
“Well you know the guys came out ready to play swinging the bat,” Claiborne coach Chad Olinde said. “It’s big to get that first run, but there is still a lot of baseball to play after that.”
“The guys were relaxed and came out doing exactly what we asked them to do,” Herd said. “We beat a good team. Claiborne has been there before, and they had three straight titles a few years ago. Coach Olinde is a great coach. It’s nice to go out beating the best.”
Crusaders pitcher Osbon started strong, striking out two of the first three batters he faced.
The tide turned on the Crusaders in the bottom of the second inning, with Brandon Butcher and JJ Holmes scoring to give Family Christian a 2-1 lead after two complete innings.
Family Christian pitcher Ben Chauvin gave up one hit through the remaining five innings.
Tyler Randle scored in the third and again in the fifth to give the Flames a 4-1 lead, although they left three runners stranded in the inning.
Claiborne’s defense broke down in the sixth inning, allowing the Flames to score their final three runs. Scoring for the Flames were Randle, who reached on a walk; Chauvin, who singled; and Titus Rogers, who reached on a Crusaders error.
The Flames were led at the plate by Butcher, who was 2-for-4 with a double. The Crusader were led by Dylan Ogle, who was 1-for-3.
Chauvin earned the win, allowing one run on four hits with two walks and six strikeouts. Osbon took the loss, giving up seven runs on three hits with nine strikeouts.
Chauvin was named the Class C tournament most valuable player.
Editor’s note: This story was changed on May 16, 2012, to correct that hits and a run scored were made by Brandon Butcher.