Berwick High School's Seth Canty
(The Daily Review/Steve Holley)
Canty tosses 3-hitter, Berwick run-rules Erath 11-1
After suffering a close loss to District 8-3A rival Erath just two days prior, the Berwick Panthers baseball team got a 10-run fourth inning Saturday in an impressive 11-1 bounce-back victory against the Bobcats in a rematch of two of the top five ranked baseball teams in Class 3A.
The game ended in the fifth inning because of the 10-run mercy rule.
For the first three innings, Berwick pitcher Seth Canty and Erath’s Brandon Noel locked horns in a pitcher’s duel.
But by the fourth inning, any thought of the game staying close and low scoring went out the window.
Berwick (16-6 overall, 3-1 district), ranked fifth in the most recent Louisiana High School Athletic Association Class 3A power rankings, erupted for 10 runs on six hits and took advantage of a number of walks and other free bases to put the game away in a grueling and agonizing inning for the third-ranked Bobcats.
With Berwick already ahead 1-0 after a Zeph Hoffpauir RBI groundout in the first, the fourth inning began with seven straight Berwick hitters reaching base safely.
Brett Williams doubled to lead off the inning, followed by a bunt single from Zeph Delatte. Erath then misplayed an infield pop-up that allowed both runners to advance and load the bases with no one out.
Panthers designated hitter Seth Giroir was hit by a pitch, allowing a run to score and making it 2-0. Barrett Hover then singled to right to up the lead to 3-0, and Mitchell Sanford followed with another bases-loaded single to make it 4-0.
Noel then plunked Hunter Landry with a pitch to force in another run before Erath made a pitching change. Parker Bourque, who started the game as the designated hitter, came in to relieve Noel after three-plus innings, but Berwick stayed hot.
Chad LaGrange connected for a two-run single to push the Panthers’ lead to 7-0, and two batters later, Delatte was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to force in Berwick’s eighth run.
The Panthers scored their next two runs courtesy of more self-inflicted wounds by Erath. Ethan Nguyen walked with the bases loaded to make the score 9-0 and Giroir was hit by a pitch to force in another run.
Berwick capped the fourth-inning scoring when Hover hit an infield single back to the mound to bring in another run and make it 11-0 before the inning came to a close.
“We lost a close one the other day,” Berwick coach Brandon Bravata said while discussing the Panthers’ one-run loss at Erath on Thursday, “but I’m super proud of my guys for coming back (Saturday) and handling the adversity. We really competed. Came out with a ton of competitive energy.
“That team performance, it had shades of last year to it, the feeling of camaraderie and continuity,” Bravata said, referencing the Panther’s Class 3A state championship run a year ago.
Canty finished with a complete-game three-hitter to earn the win. He didn’t allow a hit until the fourth inning and finished the game with six strikeouts—five of which came in the first three innings as he established his tone early.
He walked no one and allowed only four runners to reach base.
“I knew I had a job to do and that was to throw strikes and dominate,” he said. “We just had to stay focused. This win inspires us a lot because we’ve got a whole town behind this team. Coming off of last year, we want to go back (to the state championship) so bad.”
Hover led Berwick’s offense with a 2-for-3 performance with two RBIs and a run. Other top Berwick offensive contributors were Williams, 1-for-2 with a double and two runs; LaGrange, 1-for-3, two RBIs, a stolen base and a run; Nguyen, 1-for-2, an RBI and a run; Delatte, 1-for-2, an RBI; Sanford, 1-for-3, an RBI and two runs; Giroir, two RBIs and a run; Landry, an RBI and a run; and Hoffpauir, an RBI.
Noel was tagged with the loss for Erath (16-4 overall, 3-1 district). In three innings, he allowed eight runs (seven earned) on five hits with three walks, two hit batters and three strikeouts.
Luke Frederick led Erath with 1-for-2 performance with a home run, an RBI and a run.
Additional reporting by Review Sports Editor Geoff Stoute.