Wildcats look to be road warriors as tough 7-game stretch begins

Shane Lee of Destrehan

Destrehan head baseball coach Chris Mire is looking forward to his 3-2 Wildcats’ upcoming slate of games, which takes the team on the road for significant miles toward some very significant tests.

“We’re gonna find out a lot about our team,” Mire said.

Destrehan will travel to north Louisiana to face a slate of tough programs and state contenders, beginning today (March 2). DHS will take on West Ouachita today, West Monroe on Friday and then Benton and Livonia in a Saturday doubleheader.

After a few days off, Destrehan hits the road again to travel to Barbe on March 9 and will face Vandebilt Catholic and Evangel each a day later on March 10.

“It’s a seven-game stretch of some very quality opponents on the road,” Mire said. “There’s some travel involved, and I think this is a really good chance for our team to come together and see what we’re made of.”

Thus far this season, Destrehan has placed itself on the winning side more often than not, save for a pair of losses to St. Charles Catholic (by scores of 3-0 and 8-3). The Wildcats opened the season with a 9-0 victory over Shaw highlighted by John Carmichael’s no-hitter and Shane Lee’s solo home run.

Wins over John Curtis and, most recently, Belle Chasse have followed, a 9-7 win over Curtis and a 6-1 home victory over Belle Chasse on Tuesday.

Another Lee home run helped lift the Destrehan offense in this one. Lee finishing the game 1-for-4 with two runs scored and three RBIs. Jayse DeGruy went 2-for-4 with an RBI. Jonah Haslauer, Brady Mire, Walker Dew and Spencer Srubar each drove in runs as well for Destrehan.

Stubbs earned the win on the mound, leading a committee effort for Destrehan. He pitched two innings and struck out one, allowing no runs, hits or walks.

DHS took control in the third and fourth innings, each seeing the home team score three runs. Lee’s two-run homer got the first runs of the day on the board. Mire singled home a third run later in the inning.

Destrehan loaded the bases with no outs in the fourth inning and pushed across three more runs on a combination of Belle Chasse errors and timely hitting, including RBI singles by Dew and DeGruy.

“Anytime you can get big innings, things tend to work out,” Mire said. “We had a big shot by Shane Lee … we followed up one big inning with another in the fourth. I’d have liked to have seen us put up some runs beyond those two innings, but big innings are always key and we were able to get two.”

Lee is off to a hot start this season. He’s manning the leadoff spot for the Wildcats this season and he’s taken well to the role.

“He’s a special kid. We saw that last year,” Mire said. “He’s still not completely locked in. He missed most of our fall stuff with football, and he’s still getting his timing down. He’s so strong, when he stays inside the baseball, special things happen.”

Lee’s collecting RBIs, which also highlights the work Destrehan’s batters have done at the bottom of the order.

“Those guys are doing a good job getting on base … him driving in so many runs from leadoff tells you they’ve been setting things up,” said Mire. “Even in the games over the weekend where we struggled scoring runs, we had opportunities because they’re doing a great job setting the table.”

Destrehan’s been dangerous in the running game thus far, averaging four stolen bases a game. The team has bunted and moved runners effectively as well, something Mire said has come by no accident.

“We probably have 10 to 12 guys offensively who can really help us in different ways,” he said. “I think this team probably spent more time defining roles and getting guys to understand how they fit into our offense, and I think our guys have done a good job embracing their roles. We have a number of guys really good at getting bunts down and getting on base, doing the little things you need to do to produce runs.”

The pitching staff starts with Carmichael, but there are several talented arms on this staff. Exactly who slots into the No.2, No. 3 and so on rotation spots, the competition is still ongoing.

“From a stuff standpoint, a talent standpoint, we have a deep staff that can throw well. After John, we have some question marks as to who is 2, 3 and 4. We have an idea of it. But we really like the depth we have and really like some of the young guys on this staff. We’re letting things play out. We’ll have consistent starting roles once we get into our regular schedule and into district play.”


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