SULPHUR – South Beauregard had its sites set on a second state title in three years, however, baseball happened.
The Knights fell victim to a few balls that did not bounce their way in the first inning, as No. 1 Sterlington won the Class 3A State Championship, 4-2, Tuesday afternoon at McMurry Park.
"These guys work real hard, and our goal this year was to get to Sulphur and win a state championship," South Beauregard head coach Jeremy Deville said. "We fell a game short. I'm very proud of these guys. We've been through a lot of adversity and had injuries all year. Guys stepped up and picked each other up."
The Panthers took an early 1-0 lead, and with the bases loaded and two outs, Parker Coley hit a ball to right field that landed just inches away from the outstretched, diving glove of Alec McCain.
The hit allowed three runs to score as Sterlington took a 4-0 lead.
"They got timely hits, especially in the first inning," Deville said. "They got a big, two-out hit and scored three runs. That was really the outcome of the game. We hit balls hard and hit them right at them. That's baseball.
"He got a good read on it. He laid out and did all he could."
In the second inning, Gunner Morgan entered the game and shut down the Panthers offense, allowing just three hits over five innings and no runs.
"He pitched well," Deville said. "He threw strikes, pounded the zone, mixed it up. We couldn't ask for more."
In the top of the fifth, South Beauregard got on the board with a two-run single by Britton Coleman to score Avery Davis and Wyatt Beasley.
However, the Knights were unable to plate anymore runs as Sterlington capture the Class 3A championship.
"We knew they were going to pitch to contact and make plays," Deville said. "They got some timely hits, and we didn't. It was a good baseball game. Unfortunately, we fell short."
South Beauregard loses seven seniors to graduation, but they will leave with three state appearances under their belts.
"They set the standard for the guys below them," Deville said. "The guys two years ago set it for these guys and they had a goal to get back here. They expected to get back here and expected to win. That's what they did for these underclassmen. They set the tone for next year and expect to be back."