SPORTS

East Iberville Tigers earn first district win in at least 15 seasons

Andrew Green agreen@postsouth.com
Jake Harelson

It has been a year of breaking curses for East Iberville teams.  In 2016, the gridiron club won their first game since 2012 and defeated St. John for the first time in school history.  In 2017, the baseball club has won its first district matchup in at least 15 seasons, according to head coach Moe Pointer.

Their win came over a stout Southern Lab team last week which resulted in a narrow 14-13 victory for the young Tiger squad.

“We were able to get around on their pitchers pretty good,” Pointer said.  “We were down 3-1, but batters Drew Bailey, Alex Campbell and Kaylon York started hitting the ball.”

This snowballed other Tigers batters, including Blake Barbay, Izack Bailey and Bryce Purpera, into making contact with the ball.

The Tigers found themselves with a 14-5 lead over the Southern Lab Kitten, but SL crept back in the late innings to bring the game to a 14-13 lead for EIHS.  The game ended and the school earned its first district victory in many seasons when outfielder Bryce Purpera caught the third out on a fly ball.

Jake Harelson pitched the win and held SL at bay early.

“He is one of the calmest pitchers I’ve ever had,” Pointer said.  “His placements are awesome and he has a good winning record.  He’s only lost one.  He’s phenomenal and we love him on the mound.”

The win not only broke a curse for the school, but also for head coach Pointer.  This was his first district win in his entire head coaching career at East Iberville.

He coached for a two-year stint from 2010-12 for the Tigers, then returned in 2014.  “It has been a long time,” he said.  “It feels good.  Could we have had more wins in district? Yeah we could.  And I want the kids to understand that, but you have to play the game.  It really means a lot.”

The Tigers have jumped out to a great start to their 2017 campaign with a 7-4 overall record.  They started 3-0 after handing Broadmoor three straight losses earlier in March.  They lost their first district matchup of the year to Kentwood, but not by much (7-4). They followed with another loss to Kentwood (10-0), but then bounced back with two straight wins over Tara (15-0, 23-7).

On March 14, EIHS earned their first district win over SL (14-13) but could not repeat and fell 2-15.  Over the weekend, however, EIHS earned a big win over Donaldsonville High 9-4.

Pointer hopes this win will open the floodgates and looks to tack on a few more district victories as the season rolls on.  He’s got his eyes specifically set on a struggling White Castle team.

“We’ve got to be able to go out there and get the outs,” Pointer said.  “They’ll get the ball on the ground, but we’ve got to do what we need to do to win.”

EIHS will take on Ascension Catholic this week and will look to give district rival Ascension Christian and St. John a “run for their money”.

“We are going to be a strong team because we know how to deal with adversity,” Pointer added.  “I am excited about how we are going to fare the rest of the season.”

Over the weekend, the East Iberville Tigers earned the No. 4 overall power ranking in LHSAA Class 1A.  They trail Logansport, Varnado and Kentwood, respectively.