With two wins in its past three outings, Hahnville could be picking up steam as it dives in to District 7-5A competition – its last win, in particular, provides a boost of momentum.
The Tigers earned a walk-off victory over host Dutchtown on Colin Galland’s RBI single Monday, a 5-4 win in eight innings that saw HHS rally from a 4-0 deficit by plating all of its runs over the final three innings of play.
“We were more aggressive swinging the bat in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings,” said Hahnville head coach David Baudry. “We had three hits going into the fifth and ended up with 11. I thought we were a bit too choosy until that point, but we got more aggressive and that really helped us.”
Seth Whitney walked to lead off the bottom of the seventh inning – while the game was played at Dutchtown, it was originally scheduled to be played at Hahnville and was moved for rain, so HHS hit in the bottom half of each inning. Machado and Ethan Chacon each laid down bunts and beat the defense to earn singles, loading the bases for Galland, who drove the ball to left field and netted his team the win.
The Tigers (10-11) scored two runs in the sixth inning on Vladimir Furl’s two-run single. In the fifth, Aidan Machado and Whitney drove in runs to begin the comeback.
“We’ve been fighting back like that kind of often this season,” Baudry said. “Our guys made big pitches when we had to and we made some nice defensive plays to keep the score where it was.”
Furl led Tiger hitters by going 2-for-3 with two RBIs, a walk and a run scored. Chacon, Talan Theriot and Mason Long each tallied two hits in the game.
Landon Cortez went 7.1 innings, earning a no decision as Hahnville starter. He allowed two earned runs (four total) on 11 hits and two walks. Seth Whitney earned the win in relief, allowing baserunners and recording a strikeout.
The win continued a positive trend for the Tigers, which picked up a win in its district opener last week over H.L. Bourgeois, a 7-3 victory. Hahnville took a loss at Live Oak on Saturday, 8-5, after the latter scored four runs in the bottom of the sixth inning. The Tigers led prior to that over a Live Oak team that ranks among the state’s best in 2021.
“I think we’re in good position and we’ll see the pace pick up a bit,” Baudry said. “Going from five games a week early in the season, to now two or three a week … it allows you time to practice, correct your mistakes faster and really start to build some confidence going forward.”
Collin Zeringue and Landon Cortez have been leaders for the Tigers’ rotation thus far. Baudry said Zeringue has absorbed some tough luck losses this season, but that he’s kept his team in the game in each of his starts. Ditto for Cortez, who had a strong outing in Monday’s victory.
Offensively, it’s been a mix of players stepping up on different days. Centerfielder Ethan Chacon leads off for Hahnville, and Baudry said his strong defense and ability to get on-base sets the tone for the Tigers.
“Our starting pitching has been solid. We’ve had defensive lapses at times … offensively we’ve faced some really good arms, and we’ve done well but not quite well enough,” Baudry said. “When we’re aggressive in the strike zone, we’re a pretty good team. When we’re passive, we’re not … I think we can hit, but when you don’t swing the bat, you can’t.”
Hahnville has kept an eye on reaching its peak down the home stretch of the season, and kept steady on its path even after a difficult start to the season – HHS dropped three of its first four games before gathering itself to even its record against its customary schedule full of tough competition.
Of course, that’s relatively nothing – the last full prep season saw Hahnville bounce back from a disastrous 1-12 start to reach the postseason, and were within a victory of a district crown at that, in 2019.
“We’re obviously in much better position now,” said Baudry. “We’re relatively healthy and this is a group of guys who really buy in and come to work each day. We feel like going forward, we’re going to be a very tough out for anybody.”