Hahnville rides 11-game winning streak into playoff opener

Hayden Plaisance of Hahnville

Hahnville is dreaming big these days – and why wouldn’t they, given the Tigers’ scorching hot end to the regular season?

HHS has won 11 consecutive games, including a 10-2 victory over rival Destrehan and then a 7-4 victory over Brother Martin in Hahnville’s final regular season game. The Tigers enter the postseason as one of the hottest teams in the state.

“The goal for every team is to be in a dogpile at the end,” said Hahnville head coach Jared Vial. “You approach every game like you’re 0-0 and you don’t ride the roller coaster … we’ve got some mojo right now. Things are starting to really come together.”

The team’s strong record, including a District 7-5A championship, earned the Tigers (21-9) the No. 9 seed in Division I non-select and an opening round home series with No. 24 Neville. Hahnville is slated to host Neville (14-10) today (4 p.m.), Friday (4 p.m.) and Saturday if necessary (10 a.m.) in the best of three series.

Neville started the season 3-8, but enters the playoffs playing its best baseball, winners of 11 of its last 13 games.

In the second of two Destrehan/Hahnville matchups last week, the Tigers were going for a sweep after besting DHS two days earlier to clinch the 7-5A crown. There was no letup by the Tigers in the rematch. Hahnville scored in each inning, including two runs in each of the first four innings to break the game open.

Kaleb Guarisco had a big offensive day for Hahnville, going 3-for-3 with a home run, three runs scored and three RBIs. Fellow freshmen Landen Teague and Koa Romero were each 2-for-3 with an RBI, Romero with a double and Teague a triple. Talan Theriot went 2-for-4 with a double, two runs scored and an RBI.

On the mound, Hayden Plaisance went seven innings and struck out nine with no walks. He allowed three hits and one earned run.

For Destrehan, Payton Stubbs took the loss on the mound. Offensively, Shane Lee and Jayse DeGruy each drove in runs, including a home run by Lee.

The day began with Destrehan striking first – and doing so in its very first at-bat. Lee’s home run blast to lead off the game gave Destrehan a 1-0 advantage.

Plaisance said it didn’t rattle him.

“It just blew right past me – I’ve got seven innings to make up for it, so I’m not gonna worry about it just because it was the first run,” said Plaisance. “We were really determined to beat them.”

Hahnville answered and took the lead in its first chance to bat. Theriot led off the bottom of the first with a double, Guarisco singled and then an error in right field on a ball hit by Ryan Gregson led to a pair of runners scoring to give HHS a 2-1 lead.

“That’s what he does,” Vial said of Guarisco’s production in the game. “We knew from the beginning – the game’s not too big for him. He’s got a great future for us as a Tiger, for sure.”

Hahnville extended the lead to 4-1 in the second inning when Guarisco singled home Beau Parker, who led off the inning with a single, and Teague tripled Guarisco home.

The Tigers rolled from there – just as they have been for several games now.

“The leadership, the teamwork we have here , it’s all really coming together now,” said Plaisance. “We’ve really started building up.”

The Hahnville offense was able to produce 17 runs over two games against a Destrehan pitching staff that hasn’t allowed many big offensive days; in fact over the Wildcats’ previous seven games leading up to the Hahnville series, DHS had allowed just 16 total runs. Besides Hahnville, Destrehan has allowed seven runs or more only four other times this year.

“(Hahnville) is really good. It’s a special group and we knew that coming in,” said Destrehan head coach Chris Mire. “They’re playing their best baseball at the right time … We’ve got some work to do. The little things that aren’t obvious on the stat sheet, giving up free bases – I think we got their leadoff guy out once or twice in two games. That’s a credit to them.

“But when you start overlooking the little things and worry too much about what the scoreboard says and not why it says it, you get in these funks.”

Mire said the way out of that funk is to simplify and focus on the little things that add up to good innings.

“Go back to winning a pitch, winning an inning and just break the game down into smaller parts until things start going our way,” Mire said.

DESTREHAN SPLITS TWO FOLLOWING HHS SERIES – The Wildcats bounced back after the losses to Hahnville, defeating Northlake Christian at home Saturday, 3-2. But Destrehan fell in its regular season finale at Brother Martin, 3-0.

The Wildcats (18-13) earned the No. 21 seed in Division I non-select and will travel to face No. 12 Covington (22-8) this week in an opening round series. Destrehan will travel to Covington to kick off the series Friday (6 p.m.) and Saturday (11 a.m),  with a third and deciding game if necessary to be played following the first game Saturday (approximately 1:30 p.m.).

Destrehan rallied in the bottom of the seventh inning to defeat Northlake, with DeGruy scoring the winning run from third on an error.

Jonah Haslauer went 2-for-4 with a run scored for Destrehan. Haslauer, Spencer Srubar and Jack Conravey combined to pitch seven innings of two-run ball, allowing four hits to Northlake.

 

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