GAME 39 – TAPPS DIVISION I STATE CHAMPIONSHIP, CONCORDIA UNIVERSITY, AUSTIN
Eagle Baseball 15
Beaumont Monsignor Kelly Catholic 1
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Third baseman Logan Bear ‘17 drove in six runs while Owen Meaney ‘18 (LSU) added three RBI to lead the Eagles to an overwhelming five-inning victory to capture the 24th title in program history … fourth since 2010 … and second in four years with head coach Ryan Lousteau.
The Eagles finished the season winning their final 12 games … including a six-game sweep through the playoffs … for a record of 34-5 … and a phenomenal 64-7-1 during the last two seasons.
State semifinal hero Meaney returned to the spotlight and quickly ignited the title game onslaught with a run scoring whack to the warning track in dead center field for a 1-0 lead after just three at-bats.
Bear then wrapped a four-run first inning with a blast to right center, clearing the bases with a stinging stand-up double to raise the score to 4-0.
The thunder bats effectively decided the game with six runs in the second, two-run blows from Meaney, Bear and second baseman Daniel Perkins ‘17 to crush the count to 10-0.
Head Coach Ryan Lousteau: “Our goal every year is to win it all but you have to believe it, not just talk about it. Our guys really gained their confidence to close out the regular season … understood what it was going to take and that they could do it. We always emphasize ‘Team’ first and foremost … an extension of our school that is rooted in brotherhood. And I think that carries over onto the field. Our guys truly care for one another … want to win for their teammates. And I will take that intangible every single year over pure talent. There was a common goal … a collective mission … and they refused to be denied.”
Bear: “This has been the greatest ride of my life. My last year to play baseball … what a way to go out. The seniors all wanted to make one final statement. And we did.”
Catcher Philip Matulia ‘18 (Louisiana Tech): “Our seniors took command throughout the season … really started balling … in the weight room … practice … game night … found that gear. And now we’ll have our plaque on the wall with all those other (Eagle) champions. I’m ecstatic … dreaming my whole life for this … really at a loss for words.”
Winning pitcher Simen Borland ‘17: “Nothing compares to this feeling right here.”
Athletic Director Mike Netzel: “Every time we reach this tournament it seems we’re the team that carries the target … a lot of pressure … but our guys routinely rise to the challenge.”
Lousteau: “We went through a hitting session (Wednesday) afternoon and the group was as locked in as any that I’ve had. We were really to roll.”
Borland scattered hits in each of the five innings for his third playoff win and ninth victory this season in 10 decisions … benefiting from three double plays … two started by Bear to end the third and fourth innings.
Borland’s performance completed a scintillating series of outings from the Eagles staff which allowed two or fewer runs in five of their six playoff victories.
Borland: “I’m nervous before every start … tonight even more so. All those early runs really took some of the edge off … allowed us to just relax. Then I knew if we just played our game we would get it done.”
In his first career playoff start Meaney allowed Dallas Parish Episcopal only two base runners after a leadoff single to start the state semifinals … finishing with a one-hit shutout … striking out 12 including seven of the last nine batters … and drove in the game’s only run with a fifth-inning single.