A tense pitcher’s duel came down to the final at-bat of the day Tuesday – one wouldn’t expect or hope for anything less in the heated Hahnville/Destrehan rivalry.
Sam Simoneaux scored the game-winning run on a wild pitch to walk it off for Hahnville, which captured a 2-1 victory over the visiting Wildcats. Simoneaux singled to lead off the bottom of the seventh, reached second on a misplayed ball and was bunted over to third by Jake Risinger to set up the winning run.
The opportunity was there in large part via a sterling game on the mound from Talan Theriot, who struck out 11 batters against just one walk. He allowed one unearned run on five hits.
It was just enough to survive a very strong game by Destrehan’s starter, Brycen Harding, who struck out eight and walked none in 5.1 innings. He allowed one earned run on five hits.
“Brycen Harding pitched a hellava game,” said HHS head coach Jared Vial, who was an assistant coach with Destrehan prior to taking the helm at HHS. It’s a unique experience for me – I’ve gotten to coach every kid who stepped on the field today. Seeing Brycen do what he did is a testament to his hard work. As for Talan, it’s exactly what he’s done all year. He laid it all on the line for Hahnville High School today. The success he had comes as no surprise at all.”
For Hahnville (18-11), the win was huge for momentum in more than one way. It represented not only a win over an archrival and a 20-plus win team for power points and playoff positioning, but Destrehan entered the game scalding hot: Hahnville’s win snapped what was an 11-game Destrehan winning streak. Hahnville is on a run of its own, having won 8 of its last 10 games.
“Destrehan’s a great team,” Vial said. “We looked at this as a must win, and that we needed to tackle this game head on. Our guys went out with something to prove. We had a good team meeting before this game and talked about where we want to set the bar for our program. This is a program that can compete for a state championship – it’s getting them into that mindset that they can do it.”
That said, Destrehan (21-9) will maintain at least a share of the District 7-5A championship and may finish alone in first place if Thibodaux defeats co-leader Central Lafourche Thursday. The Wildcats have won 14 of 18 and the four losses have each come by just one run.
While the Tigers and Wildcats rematch today (Thursday, April 13), Tuesday’s game was the only game to count in the district standings, with today’s matchup strictly for power points – and a lot of pride.
Aidan Machado led the HHS offense, going 3-for-3 with a run scored. Jaden Rosales went 2-for-3 with a game-tying RBI.
Jayse DeGruy and Bradly Hubbard led DHS at the plate, each going 2-for-3.
While Hahnville capitalized on a Destrehan mistake in the seventh, it was Destrehan doing the same to the Tigers in the fourth inning of the game when John Carmichael scored on an errant throw to first base. Carmichael drew a leadoff walk and reached third after an earlier error as Hahnville fielded a Harding bunt.
In the bottom of the sixth inning, Machado got things started with a line drive single. Maddox Loftin laid down a bunt to sacrifice him to second, then Machado reached third on a Theriot groundout.
After a Chase Morales walk, Rosales came up with two on and belted a single to right to plate the tying run.
“I can’t say enough about Jaden Rosales,” Vial said. “He’s been unbelievable, he’s grinded all year in the middle of our lineup. He’s just a guy you want to root for.”
Vial said it’s no accident that several Tigers play multiple sports, and that several came up clutch.
“(Rosales) is an offensive lineman on the football team – we’ve got a lot of two-sport athletes. They compete year-round, there isn’t that long gap without competition. So when you have guys like Rosales, Chase Morales, Ryan Gregson, Beau Parker, Sammy Simoneaux who came up big for us in the seventh today, to name a few – those are guys where football helps them be prepared for that moment.”