Destrehan closes baseball season, falls to defending state champion

Bryant Cato of Destrehan

No. 17 Destrehan’s season came to an end Saturday at Class 5A’s top-seeded team and the defending two-time 5A champion, as Barbe finished a two-game sweep of the Wildcats on the back of an 11-strikeout no-hitter by Buccaneers starter Landon Victorian in a second-round playoff series.  The Buccaneers (33-2) defeated DHS 6-0 on Saturday, a day after capturing an 8-3 victory a day earlier in the best-of-three second round series. Both games were played at Barbe. 

Barbe advanced to the 5A quarterfinals to face No. 8 St. Amant as it continues its bid to attempt to win a third consecutive state crown.  

“Barbe’s the standard,” said Destrehan head coach Chris Mire. “I don’t like to preach moral victories, but I thought it was a great experience for our guys to be able to see (Barbe) first hand and learn from it. And now we get back and we know what we’re working toward.” 

Victorian, a Vanderbilt commitment, allowed just one baserunner Saturday, coming on a walk of Bryant Cato, the only separator between the sophomore and a perfect game.  

“He throws a low 90s fastball and probably a mid-80s slider … he kind of showed early that he was on,” Mire said. “When he was getting the slider over for strikes, I knew it was going to be a tough day, because at this level and throwing at that kind of velocity, if you’re able to establish both pitches like that for strikes, it becomes very hard on the offense.” 

Offensively, Owen Galt drove in three runs for Barbe, while Blake Moss drove in two.  

Destrehan’s Noah Simon took the loss, allowing one earned run on five hits and two walks. But Barbe pushed five unearned runs across on a day Destrehan committed five errors. Simon struck out six on the day.  

On Friday, the middle of the Barbe order again hurt Destrehan, as Moss and Galt each drove in two runs. Gavin Guidry set the table for his team all day long, scoring three runs, doubling and hitting the day’s lone home run. Each player collected three hits on the day.  

For Destrehan (21-15), Jonah Haslauer went 2-for-3 and walked. Cato and John Carmichael each drove in a run.  

Again, Destrehan’s defense struggled, with five errors helping to lead to the eight runs. 

Barbe’s JC Vanek earned the win, going 6.1 innings and allowing three earned runs on three hits and a walk. He struck out 10.  

John Carmichael allowed five earned runs, and eight total, on 11 hits and two walks in the loss. He struck out two. 

Mire said the 10 errors over the two games weren’t something that could truly be overcome against a team at Barbe’s level.  

“That was really the story of the whole series, errors,” Mire said. “They put a tremendous amount of pressure on you through the speed in which they play. They play fast. The ball comes off their bat fast, and just not being used to that speed of play, I think that can be overwhelming.  

“We made some mistakes that didn’t show up as errors that added up … balls in the dirt, not hitting the cutoff, that gave them extra bases.” 

Mire said the Wildcats continued to fight, as they have all year. Particularly in game two, the mistakes added up, but for much of the day Destrehan went toe-to-toe with the state’s top ranked team. 

“I thought both of our pitchers did what they normally do over the two games,” said Mire. “I thought, for Noah, it was one of his best games. He threw his butt off. He had his fastball, changeup and curve all going. But that second inning, we’re down 1-0, we have two outs and nobody on … we make some mistakes, they end up loading the bases and they hit a ball off the wall in an inning we should have been out of and three runs score.” 

That loss aside, there was much to be proud of over the course of the season for DHS, which captured the District 7-5A championship.  

After a midseason stretch of four losses in five games, Destrehan came through in the clutch to earn a 9-8 victory over Jesuit, the first of four straight wins. The Wildcats ended the regular season on a run of 14 wins in 20 games, then went on the road in round one of the 5A playoffs to best host Airline.  

“Couldn’t be more proud of the way our guys played down the stretch,” Mire said. “Seniors stepping up and having big moments for us. Sophomores who got going late in the season and, by the end, weren’t playing like sophomores at all anymore. I thought early on we had spells where one guy would get hot but another would be cold, but everyone stuck together and we started to heat up.” 


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