Destrehan head baseball coach Chris Mire says that Saturdays might just be the Wildcats’ day – his team has found a lot of success on the last day of the week.
Last Saturday, this was the case again – and certainly the case for the day’s hero, John Carmichael.
Carmichael delivered the eventual game-winning hit and nailed down the save in a 9-8 victory over Jesuit, then later in the same day delivered a complete-game, one-run performance in a 3-1 Destrehan win over Holy Cross.
The wins spurred Destrehan to 8-7 this season and washed away the bad taste of a mini-slump for the Wildcats, who had lost four of their previous five games. With Destrehan beginning District 7-5A play this week, it was a welcome shift in momentum.
“It was a big confidence builder for us,” said Mire. “We’ve had a tough stretch of games and weren’t playing our best ball. This was a reminder that we can be good when we play the right way …
“Saturdays just seem to be our day so far. I think that day tends to be the longest of the weekend, the backend of tournaments, and we have a group of seniors who have been through it and are mentally tough enough to endure that long day. We got there at 7 in the morning and left at 7 that night. They keep fighting and keep playing and find ways to outlast that other team, to get one more run.”
Against Jesuit, Brady Mire went 2-for-4 with two RBIs and a run scored. Carmichael went 2-for-3 with two RBIs. Keston Granier, Noah Simon and Jayse Degruy also drove in runs for the Wildcats.
Though the game ended in victory for Destrehan, it didn’t appear to be headed that way early on.
Jesuit piled up six first inning runs to take command against DHS starter Degruy, though the latter regrouped in a major way from there to pitch two scoreless innings thereafter.
“We didn’t get off to the greatest start, and give them credit – Jesuit came out swinging their bats,” Chris Mire said. “They kind of jumped on us. We talked about it before, having our backs to the wall and having to fight back. I joked with them after, maybe we weren’t cornered enough and had to be down 6-0.”
Offensively, Destrehan fought back into it quickly by scoring four second inning runs, the first two coming on singles by Degruy and Granier. Braden Fenerty stole third base and subsequently scored on a Jesuit error, then Brady Mire singled home Destrehan’s fourth run to make it 6-4. In the fourth inning, Destrehan pulled within one when Fenerty scored again in the same fashion, stealing third then taking home on an error.
Neither team scored again until Jesuit tacked on a run in the top of the sixth. Destrehan answered in their half of the inning. Fenerty doubled and Granier walked to set up DHS’ second big inning of the day. A Mire line drive plated both runners to pull his team within a run, 7-6.
Carmichael hit a sharp ground ball to first that took a big hop over the fielder’s head – bringing home two more runs to give Destrehan the lead. Simon bunted home another run to give Destrehan a two-run lead.
“He’s probably been the guy with the worst luck this year,” Mire said. “It seems like every time he barrels the ball up, it gets caught in the wind or it’s right at someone. This time he hit a hard ground ball and got a fortunate hop over the first baseman’s head. Eventually, the game evens out. He finally got one back for all those times he’s been robbed.”
Jesuit’s Luke Brandau’s eighth inning home run cut the lead to one, prompting Destrehan to call upon Carmichael to close out the game – though that wasn’t the initial plan, with Carmichael slated to start the day’s second game.
“We always have the mindset that we’re not gonna pass up a win in order to prepare for the next game,” Mire said. “Jonah (Haslauer) got us to the seventh and with them down one run, we went to John … this was kind of a redemption game for us.”
Against Holy Cross, Carmichael went seven innings and allowed one unearned run on five hits and no walks.
Offensively, Simon went 2-for-3 with an RBI. Shane Lee and Carmichael each landed a hit and RBI.
Holy Cross led 1-0 after an inning, but Destrehan hung three on the board in the fifth inning on the back of Carmichael’s RBI single and RBI doubles by Lee and Simon.
“John does what he does and gave us a steady performance, and our defense made plays,” Mire said. “We hit some balls hard that weren’t falling. We finally got some guys on and had the opportunity to make it happen, and we got three hits in a row.”