Wildcats eliminated from postseason as Webb, Guice combine for 1-hitter
St. Amant’s Teddy Webb and Dwain Guice combined to pitch a one-hitter Tuesday at Destrehan as the Gators eliminated the Wildcats in Class 5A first round action, 5-0.
The Gators broke the game open in the sixth inning by extending what was a 1-0 score to a five run lead against Destrehan ace Landon Marceaux, who was pitching in his final game in a Destrehan uniform. St. Amant collected four singles and combined those with an error to do the damage, then turned the game over to its own power pitcher in Guice for the final two innings in relief.
Webb allowed one hit and struck out five while walking two. Guice allowed no baserunners over his two innings. Tyson Cowart led the Gators offensively by going 2-for-4 with a run scored.
Zach Wild earned Destrehan’s lone hit on the day, a double.
St. Amant led 1-0 as the top of the sixth began. After Marceaux struck out the leadoff batter, Zane Zeppuhar singled to start the Gators off. Alex LeBourgeois singled him home to make it 2-0. Then Ben Parker bunted and reached on an error, allowing another run to come around. Miles Murray’s line drive single to center made it 4-0 and a passed ball pushed the lead to 5-0.
With a best two-out-of-three series looming for the winner in round two, and that series scheduled to begin on three days rest on Friday, tough decisions had to be made for each coach with his pitching staff.
Destrehan coach Chris Mire elected to start No. 2 starter Bryce Scioneaux with the intention to go to Marceaux as the game went on, as to not burn out either starter completely for the second round. Mire said it wasn’t a matter of looking ahead, but an attempt to find the best way to maximize his team’s chances of advancing as far as possible without risking the health of his pitchers. Scioneaux went two innings and allowed one run on a hit and four walks, while striking out three. Marceaux pitched five innings and allowed two earned runs (four total) on six hits and no walks while striking out seven.
“We were trying to buy a few innings with Bryce, who has been great for us all year. Even with the score 1-0, I felt we were in a good spot with Landon coming in,” Mire said. “You can’t get ahead of yourself, but when dealing with guys who have futures in this game, you have to take that into consideration and you can’t do anything to jeopardize that.”
Mire said the close scheduling of the best of three second round series to the first round does present challenges.
“You know, we track pitch counts and emphasize player safety all season, and rightfully so, but all of that to set up a playoff format where your best pitcher has to come back on three days rest,” Mire said. “In years where we’ve been fortunate enough to win in the first round, we’ve had our best guy on three days rest or he can’t throw. Still, if we didn’t have a quality pitcher like Bryce Scioneaux to go to, I probably don’t make that call.”
He credited St. Amant’s pitchers and coaches with a strong gameplan.
“They pitched us backwards, and it was a good plan,” Mire said. “We kind of expected that. It was tough, if you ask them to be selective you get behind, and if you ask them to be aggressive we’re chasing out the zone … once (Hussar) got ahead, he made some quality pitches out the zone and we weren’t able to lay off.”
Mire said this Destrehan team battled all season.
“Nothing came easy for this group,” Mire said. “Guys had to come in and fight for spots. These seniors came in and posted 22 wins and beat some really quality teams. You have your ups and downs and today, unfortunately, we couldn’t put runs on the board. It wasn’t for lack of effort.”
Destrehan finished the season with a record of 22-12.