SULPHUR — Top-seeded Family Christian set the tone early and never wavered despite a five-hour rain delay.
The Flames notched a 10-0 five-inning victory over District 6C rival Maurepas in Friday’s Class C semifinal action at the Louisiana High School Athletic Association’s State Baseball Tournament at McMurry Park.
M.J. Frazier tossed a one-hitter and struck out eight to power the FCA, which seeks its second straight state title. Family Christian will meet the Claiborne Christian-Elizabeth winner in the title game set for noon Saturday.
“At the beginning of the season, we knew this was where we wanted to be,” FCA coach Rick Smith said. “The guys played really well. I was pleased with how they handled the delays.”
It was the third time FCA (25-4) had played Maurepas (16-12) this season; the Flames won the previous two games by a combined score of 24-1.
“We’re excited to have an opportunity to defend our title. We were were worried about playing (Maurepas) a third time. They’re a good team. They’re athletic and they swing the bat well, so we have a healthy respect. (FCA) left nothing to chance.”
Frazier, a Baton Rouge Community College signee, allowed a leadoff single to Tyler Delatte in the fourth.
“I just focused on getting my fastball in for a strike,” Frazier said. “When I did that, I knew I could throw by curveball, which is my best pitch, to get outs. I wasn’t worried about a no-hitter as long as we got the (win).”
J.J. Holmes was 3-for-4 with RBIs to help lead FCA at the plate. Ben Chauvin was 2-for-2.
The Flames scored five runs in the bottom of the first inning. Tyler Randall led off with a double and went to third on a single by Holmes.
Randall scored the first run when Hopkins grounded into a fielder’s choice. Holmes scored on an error. Trae Steudlein drove in two runs with a hit. In his second at-bat of the inning, Randall drew a bases-loaded walk that brought Titus Rogers in to score the final run of the inning.
Frazier retired the Wolves in order in the first three innings, striking out five of the nine batters he faced.
“We had to keep it close in order to play the style of baseball we play,” Maurepas coach Anthony Gregoire said. “We can’t smash with (Family Christian). They hit the ball too well. And when they scored the five runs, it took us out of our game.”
FCA tacked on another run in the bottom of the third before a the rain/lightning delay. Chauvin singled, stole second and scored on a hit by Mason Diaz.
The District 6C rivals traded a message ball back-and-forth between their dugouts during rain delay. Through the messages, the team took turns acting out roles in popular video games, such as “Call to Duty.”
Family Christian scored twice more in the third after the game resumed. Richard Hopkins’ two-RBI hit in the fifth completed the scoring.