Tigers flashing their potential in summer ball

Hahnville's Aidan Machado

Hahnville has won six games in a row on the baseball diamond, in the midst of a strong summer season in the Tigers’ first action under freshly hired head coach Jared Vial.

HHS is 13-4-2 thus far during the Crescent City prep league season, and during its win streak it has allowed no more than two runs in any of the six wins.

Two ties resulted within Hahnville’s first three games of the summer, including a 13-13 finish against East Ascension. Since then, the Tigers have been red hot. Vial, who was hired earlier this month, began coaching with the Tigers in the first week of June and has been getting to know his players during live competition.

“Yeah, I kind of jumped right into it,” said Vial, a Hahnville alum who was an assistant with Destrehan prior to taking the helm of the Tigers program. “You’re juggling building relationships with the kids, trying to win a ballgame and keeping everyone healthy with the crazy schedule we have. Trying to put the pieces together to benefit the players, compete and win ballgames.”

Vial said he’s been especially pleased with how the team has been executing in the “small ball” game over the summer, bunting, stealing bases and manufacturing avenues to put runs on the board.

“We have been doing a very good job at creating offense,” said Vial. “It’s a testament to Coach Gonzales and Coach Whittington, they’ve done a great job bridging that gap from Coach Baudry to me, and the way we’ve been able to generate runs and put pressure on the other team has been a great thing for us.

“It’s about using every tool in our toolbox to win games.”

The Tigers felled Lakeshore on Monday. 6-2, at Hahnville despite falling behind early after LHS scored two in the top of the first inning.

Hahnville got on the board for the first time in the bottom of the third inning when Kason Alexander singled home Aidan Machado, cutting the deficit in half.

The Tigers began taking control in the fourth after three consecutive singles by Donovan Friloux, Jake and Sammy Simoneaux began their half of the inning loaded the bases with no outs.  Chase Morales sacrificed and two runs scored, one via error, then Truman Moyer collected an RBI of his own to make it 4-2. HHS never looked back from there, putting the finishing touches on the scoring on Beau Parker’s two-RBI single in the sixth.

For Morales, the game brought a unique stat line for the leadoff hitter. He had two sacrifices in the game and was hit by two pitches, resulting in a 0-for-0 day at the plate that was far more productive than that line would indicate.

Albert Liu and Risinger combined for seven innings on the mound for HHS. Liu allowed one earned run and struck out four, gave up four hits and walked three in his four innings of work en route to the win. Risinger went three innings of one-hit, scoreless ball, striking out five and walking two.

On Thursday, Hahnville dominated on the way to a 10-2 victory at home over Chalmette. The win was highlighted by a six-run sixth inning in which Moyer, Simoneaux and Morales hit back-to-back-to-back RBI doubles. The Tigers began the inning with six consecutive hits to blow the game open.

Morales went 2-for-3 with two runs scored and an RBI. Ryan Gregson went 2-for-2 with two runs scored. Risinger was 2-for-2 with a run and RBI, Moyer was 2-for-3 with three RBIs and a run and Simoneaux was 2-for-3 with two RBIs and a run scored. Josh Cancienne scored two runs.

Noah Chauvin earned the win, going five innings and allowing two earned runs on four hits and no walks. He struck out four. Hayden Plaisance tossed two perfect innings in relief, striking out three.

“Our pitching’s been good,” Vial said. “We’ve been very thin on pitching, between guys hurt or nursing soreness, things like that … but they’ve given us a chance to win. Offensively, one reason why finding different ways to score has been so important, we want to take the pressure off those guys (on the pitching staff) whenever we can.”

Vial said Alexander has had a very strong summer hitting the ball, among the highlights thus far of the summer reason. Machado, meanwhile, has been excellent at shortstop.

“(Machado), just being a vacuum at short, you just know when the ball is hit there the play is gonna be made,” Vial said.

Chauvin and Plaisance are among those stepping up on the pitching staff this summer.

The Tigers wrap up league play in the regular season this week. Vial said the team may need a little help in order to qualify for the playoffs next week.

But whether that happens or not, the Tiger players have made a positive impression on their new head coach.

“It’s hard on these guys … new coach, new expectations, the pressure of trying to impress a new coach, but they’ve taken to that really well. It’s not really any one person, but the team in general. This is a good team,” Vial said.

 

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