By DAVE WOODALL
Slidell sports writer
ZACHARY — The #5 seed Zachary Broncos (28-10) proved to be too much for the #20 seed Northshore Panthers to handle.
The reason—senior right-hander Robert Burke who picked up a 6-1, complete game win over the Panthers here at John Herty Field last Friday night in the first game of a best-of-three series in the All State Sugar Bowl/LHSAA Class 5A state baseball quarterfinals.
Burke, a Northwestern State signee, got all the runs he needed in the first when the Broncos scored two.
Second baseman Rhett Hebert led off the game with a single and advanced to second on a wild pitch.
After a one-out walk to River Town and a strikeout, Kellon Brown reached on an error that plated Hebert.
Tyler Jackson followed with a two-out, RBI single into right to make it 2-0 Broncos.
In the fourth, Collior Cranford doubled and went to third on a wild pitch.
Then Bronco catcher Alex Milazzo upped their lead to 3-0 in the fourth inning on an RBI single to drive in Cranford.
The Broncos scored two more later in the inning as Joey Blanchard followed Milazzo’s single with a double, and Rhett Hebert knocked in both of them with a two-run single to make it 5-0.
Zachary posted an insurance run in the sixth to go up 6-0.
Burke continued his dominance over the Northshore hitters shutting them out until the seventh inning while striking out nine.
Northshore’s lone run came in the seventh.
Brayden Jobert led off the inning with a hit and was driven in on an RBI single by shortstop Christian Garcia to end the scoring at 6-1.
Ethan Campo was the losing pitcher for Northshore. He went 3.1 innings giving up five runs on eight hits, two walks and five strikeouts.
Burke notched the win going the distance giving up one run on four hits, three walks and nine strikeouts.
Northshore stranded five runners while the Broncos left seven runners on base.
Hunter McGoldrick, Jobert, Garcia and Eli Dubuisson got Northshore’s four hits with Garcia getting the only RBI of the game for the Panthers.
Game number two of the series was more of the same as the Panthers were held to only two runs with those coming again in the seventh inning.
Zachary finished off the Panthers with a 6-2 win to capture the series and punched their ticket to Sulphur for the semifinals.
The Broncos scored one run in the third, one in the sixth and four in the seventh to secure the win.
Getting hits for the Panthers were McGoldrick, Max Meeker, Jobert, Garcia, Troy Compton and Michael Stutes who had a double.
Blanchard, Hebert, River Town, Tyler Jackson, Brown, Cranford, Milazzo and Grant Quinn had hits for Zachary.
Compton took the loss going six innings giving up five runs on six hits, one walk and two strikeouts.
Northshore left eight men on base while the Broncos stranded six runners.
The Panthers end their season with a 24-12 mark.