SPRINGHILL – It wasn’t always pretty, and it couldn’t have been much closer, but North Webster (25-6) took care of business, sweeping a scrappy Pine Prairie squad to advance to round three of the LHSAA Class 3A playoffs where they will meet No. 2 E.D. White.
“I felt like Pine Prairie was once again better than their seed,” Knights head coach Dane Peavy said. “You can’t come into the playoffs thinking you’re going to beat teams by five or 10. Once you get to the playoffs, everybody can play and nobody’s here by mistake.”
The Knights earned a 4-3 victory in game one, thanks to a perfectly-executed squeeze bunt from North Webster’s Daniel Lewis.
Connor McClure was the winning pitcher for the Knights, going all seven innings, striking out one batter and allowing six hits.
The Knights got on the board early with an RBI single from Clay Mahaffey scoring Riley Orr. Kade Garmany’s RBI single added another run for the Knights in the second and Hayden Corbell scored Lewis from third in the third inning on a sacrifice groundout.
The Panthers scored one run in the third, sixth and seventh to come back and tie the game at 3-3, setting up the thrilling finish.
Orr reached base with a single, moving to second on a throwing error. Logan Vidrine followed with a base hit, bringing up Lewis. On the third pitch of his at-bat, Lewis squared around at the last second and put a perfect bunt towards the first-base side. Orr slid safely into home, ending the game and setting off a wild celebration.
The Knights and Panthers took a short break and got going in game two.
Vidrine took the mound and showed why his coach has so much faith in the staff’s ace.
“He’s been absolutely amazing,” Peavy said. “He’s pitched every big ball game for us. He’s the biggest competitor you’ll find on the mound and he’s been outstanding all year.”
Vidrine pitched all seven innings for the Knights, striking out five batters and allowing just two hits.
Hayden Corbell had the only RBI hit of the game for North Webster, but Patrick Modisette added a double, while McClure, Vidrine, Orr, Blake Atchley and Lewis added singles.
The Knights left too many men on base in game two, with only two runs to show for their eight hits.
“I thought we clinched up at times,” Peavy said. “We left too many runners on base the whole series. We could never break it open.”
The Knights didn’t have to thanks to thanks to McClure and Vidrine.
“We wouldn’t be in this position if weren’t for those guys,” Peavy said. “We’re proud to have them.”
North Webster and E.D. White begin their three-game series Friday at 4 p.m. in Thibodaux.