As Destrehan pulls into the home stretch of the baseball regular season, the Wildcats are trying to find a consistency that’s eluded them thus far.
DHS (16-11, 6-2) are battle-tested after a front-loaded schedule stacked with some of the state’s upper echelon opponents. In District 7-5A play, however, it hasn’t been what DHS head coach Chris Mire or his players envisioned – hopes for a district championship were dealt a blow after an 8-6 loss to H.L. Bourgeois last week left the Wildcats one game behind district leader Hahnville, which itself just absorbed its first district loss of the season, coming against Terrebonne.
District title hopes are still alive at Destrehan, but it will take sweeps of Terrebonne and Hahnville alike over the season’s final two weeks.
“It’s been frustrating at times,” said Destrehan head coach Chris Mire. “It feels like two different teams can show up from day to day, game to game. I think it’s just a mental thing we have to overcome.”
DHS has split season series against Bourgeois and Central Lafourche, each time DHS pairing a decisive win with a loss.
The area Destrehan can swing its fortunes the most, perhaps, comes at the plate. The Wildcats have pitched and played defense at a high level all season – a recent 10 game stretch saw Destrehan go 8-2 while allowing two runs or less in nine of those contests, for example.
Among the reasons for that success on the mound has been a very strong season from John Carmichael – if also a somewhat unlucky one. He sports a record of 3-2 despite only allowing three earned runs all season.
“You always know what you’re going to get with John,” said Mire. “You know, to allow two runs and be (3-2) … it’s kind of the same thing at the plate for him. He’s batting .333 but he’s probably lined out 10 times and could easily be over .400. But he’s a guy that does things the right way every time out.
“Pitching and defense has carried us all year. We’re mentally preparing our guys to play in these 2-1, 3-2, 1-0 type of games because every team in the state is going to have at least one very good arm.”
Another strong performer has been Jonah Haslauer, who recently pitched a no-hitter in a 3-0 district victory over East St. John.
The Wildcats came through in the clutch to pass a test on Saturday, defeating East Ascension in a non-district game, 5-4, despite an early deficit.
DHS fought back after the host Spartans took a 4-0 lead after Kane Sanchez drove in two runs in the bottom of the fifth inning.
Their backs against the wall, Destrehan took charge in the top of the sixth after Jonah Haslauer and Carmichael got on with no outs on back-to-back singles.
Shane Lee singled home Destrehan’s first run to make it 4-1, then Noah Simon hit a line drive to right to plate two more runs, making it a one-run game. Simon went on to tie the game on an error after Brycen Harding put the ball in play.
In the seventh, Destrehan pushed the winning run across, and again it was Lee coming through clutch following a two-out hit by Haslauer and a walk by Carmichael. Lee singled home the former to give his team a lead that would hold after Carmichael closed the door in the seventh, though the game had one last bit of drama – Dominick Regira tripled with two outs to put the tying run on third, but Carmichael recorded a foul out to finish the job and a 5-4 victory.
Haslauer, Carmichael and Lee each recorded two hits for Destrehan.
Carmichael pitched the complete game for the win, allowing four runs (one earned) while striking out seven and walking one.
Landon Gautreau went 3-for-4 with a run scored to lead EA, along with Regira, who went 2-for-4 with three runs scored.