Wildcats, Tigers battle to stalemate after 10 innings

April 07 at 12:40 pm  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

Wildcats, Tigers battle to stalemate after 10 innings
Destrehan coach Chris Mire likens his teamís games with rival Hahnville to a heavyweight fight, noting ďitís not about who gets the first lick, but who gets the last lick.Ē

On Thursday, that last lick never came for either team, even after 10 innings of play at Hahnville. The teams were tied 1-1 in the highly-anticipated District 7-5A showdown when the action was called, and the teams will resume play Wednesday AT 4 p.m.

With Destrehan unbeaten in district play, and Hahnville having only lost to the Wildcats, the game’s result should go a long way to determining the district’s eventual champion.

It was battle of teams with dominant pitching staffs that more than lived up to their billing. LSU committed pitcher Landon Marceaux was clearly the star of the day, however, who struck out 17 batters in a no-decision. Marceaux allowed five hits and one earned run while walking none in his performance, and seemingly left the game even stronger than he’d started it: of the last 12 outs he recorded, 11 were strikeouts, and only one Hahnville baserunner reached from the sixth inning on.

“I tried to feed off the energy of both teams,” said Marceaux, who said he wasn’t aware of his strikeout total as the game was unfolding. “Attack the zone and stay on top to keep the momentum on our side and get my team back in the dugout.

“I didn’t want to (leave the game), but my pitch count got up and I know we’ve got other guys on this team who will get it done … I don’t like ending it in a tie, but it’s all good. We’ll finish it up.”

Mire said Marceaux kicked things up a notch down the stretch.

“It’s rare to see a guy who can do what he does at such a high level at a young age,” Mire said. “He came into high school with a ridiculous understanding of what it took to be a pitcher at this level. He just goes out …. understands when he needs to pace himself. He knew going into those last couple innings how much he had left. Once he saw the finish line, he kicked it up into high gear and made sure he left with the game tied at the worst.”

Hahnville’s Matt Champagne started the game and was up to the task of going head-to-head with the Destrehan ace. Champagne went six innings and allowed one unearned run on five hits. He struck out four and walked two.

Hahnville coach David Baudry said he wanted to give Champagne the ball in this kind of big-game setting, opting to start the right-hander before eventually bringing in Louisiana-Lafayette commitment Austin Perrin, who has historically started Hahnville’s games against Destrehan.

“Matt has been excellent for us, his only loss is to Barbe,” Baudry said. “He needs that big game experience. This game is exciting … this is a playoff atmosphere, and I wanted to put him in that atmosphere. And it’s certainly no knock on Austin. You saw him come in and do what he does. We’re trying to use this rivalry to prepare us for what we’ll see in May.”

Champagne was ready for the challenge.

“I knew I had to follow in AP’s footsteps and keep doing the job he’s been doing for us the past three years (against Destrehan),” Champagne said. “I kept doing my thing and getting it back for the offense.”

David Vial and Perrin each pitched two innings in relief. Vial allowed no hits, while Perrin allowed one and struck out four.

Brennan Cortez pitched an inning of scoreless relief for Destrehan, striking out the side.

Destrehan took a 1-0 lead in the top of the fourth inning after Cortez reached on an error to lead off the inning. Bryce Rochelle singled to drive in the go-ahead run.

Hahnville struck back immediately in their half of the fourth, Josh Nunez doubling home Hunter LeBlanc, who singled to lead off the inning.

Destrehan won the first meeting between the teams last month, 3-2 at Destrehan.

Rochelle went 2-for-4 to lead Destrehan at the plate. Gage Broussard, Simon, Cole Porter and Peter Carmichael also collected hits.

For Hahnville, Hunter LeBlanc, Champagne, Perrin, Nunez and Mason Candies all earned hits.

For Destrehan, a 15-game unbeaten streak was on the line. DHS began the season 6-5 and has since rolled to a 20-5-1 record, the tie achieved in a 5-5 game with Brother Martin on March 10. The Wildcats are 6-0 in district play.

Hahnville (17-8, 5-1) had won five straight since its district-opening loss to Destrehan.

Both coaches agreed suspending the game was for the best, neither wanting to see a situation where the game was called in the middle of an inning.

“We talked all along about making sure we stop at a good point and finishing the game with the same integrity as when we started,” Mire said.

View other articles written Ryan Arena

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