Behind an exceptional pitching performance by senior Brooks Vial, the Hahnville Tigers took control of District 8-5A with a 2-0 win over No. 2 Destrehan on Friday.
The win was a big one for the Tigers, who jumped four spots to No. 9 in the Class 5A power rankings after the victory. Hahnville head coach David Baudry said he was impressed with all facets of his teamís shutout victory.
"I was pleased with our preparation, approach to the game, our competitiveness and the way we pitched and played defense," he said. "To be able to shut out Destrehan was quite an accomplishment."
Vial was perfect through four innings, holding Destrehan hitless while striking out three. In the fourth, Vial used his bat to give his team a lead that they would not relinquish.
Connor Lorio got a free pass to first to start the frame after getting hit by a pitch, and Destrehan pitcher Kade Granier walked two straight to load the bases. Thatís when Vial lined a single to right to drive in Lorio for a 1-0 Hahnville lead. Cologne followed with a single of his own to drive in the final run of the game and give the Tigers a 2-0 advantage.
After Vial got the Wildcats out in order in the bottom of the fourth, Hahnville threatened again in the fifth.
Michael Landry singled to start the inning, but was thrown out at second on a fielderís choice by Dylan Keller. Lorio drew his second walk of the game to put two runners on, but a long shot by Tyler Simmons was caught at the wall by Destrehan center fielder Brock Benedetto to give Hahnville their second out.
Todd Porche kept the inning alive by drawing a walk to load the bases, but Granier forced Tyler Lamers to ground out to second to end the Hahnville scoring threat.
Vial gave up his first hit of the game in the fifth, but got some help from his defense as the Tigers turned a double play.
Hahnvilleís Lamers came on in relief in the sixth and Destrehan tried to rally for the win in the bottom of the seventh.
Granier began the frame with a single to center and Lamers walked Sam Steib to put two Wildcats on with no outs.
Tanner Hayes tried to advance the runners with a bunt, but Destrehan pinch runner Nathan Pilutti was thrown out at third. Lamers then struck out Blake Hymel and forced Jesse Bryant to ground out to end the game.
"Brooks and Lamers were fantastic," Baudry said. "Overall, it was one of our best performances of the year."
Though Destrehan suffered the loss, Wildcat head coach Marty Luquet could find little to fault in his teamís performance.
"I thought we pitched well and played good defense," Luquet said. "The key factor was Brooks Vial. The bottom line was he had a great performance."
Luquet also singled out the play of his own pitcher.
"Kade pitched well for us," he said. "They just had one inning where they were able to put everything together."
Baudry said it is difficult to tell how the win will affect his squad. The Tigers cruised past Bonnabel 12-0 a day after their win over Destrehan and beat East St. John 14-1 on Tuesday.
"Going into the game, we felt like we were a pretty good baseball team," Baudry said. "We knew we had to play pretty well to beat Destrehan and our guys approached it as another big game. Coming out of it now, they may feel pressure that they canít let up. We have four games left and we need to win all four."
One of those games will be against Destrehan on Tuesday at 4 p.m. The game will be played at Hahnville.
"We arenít thinking about that game now because we have two road games against Higgins and Ehret," Baudry said. "Weíve been as good on the road as we have been at home, but itís harder to travel and win."
Luquet said that his team was heartbroken after the game, but the squad rebounded in their next two contests. They beat Higgins 17-1 on Saturday and blanked John Ehret 14-0 on Tuesday. The Wildcats sill have a chance at the district title if they beat Hahnville on Tuesday.
"We have one more game against (Hahnville) on the schedule and the loss didnít affect our seeding," Luquet said. "We have to make sure we stay focused on that."
|Hahnville ace Brooks Vial pitched one of his best games of the season against Destrehan on Friday, leading his team to a 2-0 win. Destrehan and Hahnville will meet again on Tuesday at Hahnville. The game is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m.|