Hahnville has endured growing pains thus far in the 2022 season as a young team of largely first-time starters learns how to finish games. But on Saturday, the Tigers did just that – and in fact did so behind a pitcher making his first career varsity start.
Junior Kohl Ducote hurled a complete game shutout to key Hahnville’s 5-0 victory over Holy Cross on Saturday. Ducote allowed four hits and one walk while striking out four.
“He really threw the ball well,” said Hahnville head coach David Baudry. “He’s worked very hard and he’s pitched well all year. We’ve used him in relief a couple of times, and I decided to give him the start Saturday … he threw it extremely well, threw a bunch of strikes and really limited their opportunities.”
The game was scoreless until the fourth inning, when Hahnville scored the first of its five runs. HHS added two in each of the fifth and sixth innings.
Talan Theriot went 1-for-3 with two RBIs. Jake Risinger and Kason Alexander each had two hits on the day, while Risinger, Collin Galland and Chase Morales each drove in a run.
It was Galland that got Hahnville going with a two-out RBI single in the bottom of the fourth inning.
Theriot’s line drive single to right field pushed that lead from one run to three, plating two more. A Risinger RBI single and Morales sacrifice fly rounded out the HHS scoring.
The win snapped a six-game losing streak for Hahnville, which now stands at 6-13 entering District 7-5A play this week. The bulk of those 13 losses have come in close games, and several have seen Hahnville jump ahead before falling.
Baudry said that will improve as his players gain experience – Hahnville brought back just four regular starters this season, including last season’s District 7-5A Pitcher of the Year in Landon Cortez. At times, the team has leaned on up to five sophomore starters.
“We’ve had leads, but we haven’t been winning, haven’t been closing games,” said Baudry. “We have a lot of young guys, a lot of underclassmen … I think with the exception of a few tournament games where we’ve been short on pitching, we’ve been playing well. We haven’t had consistency.”
That said, were Hahnville to make a late season run after a slow start, it would not be a new endeavor for the program. For all the learning on the job the Tigers have had to do in terms of finishing off wins this season, Hahnville has had a knack for closing speed in the late stages of its season the past few years.
Could this Hahnville team make a similar late season run?
“Absolutely,” Baudry said. “Absolutely. If you look at the way the season has gone so far, we’ve played 20 games in four weeks. Now we have 14 more over the next four weeks. So, you have time in between games to practice, to help guys iron things out, and it allows your pitching staff to take a breath.”
Baudry said the top of the order has been steady all season, with returning starters Morales, Aidan Machado and Theriot delivering in the top three spots.
On the mound, Brady Babin is among those who have stepped up along with Cortez.
“He’s a crafty left-hander, and he’s given us an absolute chance to win every time out,” said Baudry. “He’s throwing strikes and keeping the ball down in the zone. He’s been very tough on hitters all year.”
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