Central of Baton Rouge stuns No. 2 seed Destrehan, 3-1, in regionals

Destrehan star shortstop Sam Carriere reacts after hitting a foul ball in the fifth inning of the Wildcats’ 3-1 loss to Central.

Destrehan’s state championship hopes were shattered by a 3-1 upset loss to Central (BR) in the regional round of the Class 5A playoffs Monday afternoon at Destrehan.

Destrehan, second seeded, had its 16-game win streak snapped and finished the season 25-10 overall.

Central (24-11), 15th seeded, now advances to the state quarterfinals against Barbe on May 14 at Tulane University.

Central pitchers Kelby Blalock and M.J. Leduff limited the usually explosive Destrehan offense to three hits with 11 strikeouts. The first six hitters in the DHS lineup were a combined 0-for-15 with eight strikeouts. Destrehan entered Monday’s contest averaging almost eight runs per game.

DHS pitcher Kurt McCune (9-4), an LSU signee, did all he could to keep his team within striking distance. The 6-5 righthander allowed two earned runs and struck out 10 Central batters with no walks.

CHS would score all the runs it would need in the first inning. With one out, Landon Thibodeaux singled to right field and scored on Jacob Lesage’s RBI double to center.

Corey Laudermill reached on an infield error, which advanced Lesage to third. Mark Taylor’s slow roller to shortstop got Lesage home with Central’s second run.

Blalock retired the first six hitters he faced but ran into trouble in the third inning. Zack Schexnaydre led off with a single to right field on a 3-2 pitch for Destrehan’s first hit of the game. One out later, Seth Montz singled to left field and Sam Carriere walked to load the bases. Dylan Lucich struck out before Matt Smith walked to force home Schexnaydre with DHS’ only run. Blalock limited the damage by fanning McCune for the final out.

Central got the run back in the fourth to once again take a two-run margin. With one out, Leduff doubled to left field.

His pinch runner, Corey Davis, advanced to third on a ground out and raced home when McCune uncorked a wild pitch.

With two outs in the fourth, Schexnaydre doubled for what turned out to be Destrehan’s last hit but he was left stranded at second.

In the fifth, after Montz began the inning for DHS with a walk, Leduff replaced Blalock on the mound and retired all nine batters he faced the rest of the way, with five strikeouts.

Schexnaydre had two of Destrehan’s three hits.

Lesage, Leduff, and Thibodeaux each had two hits for Central. Blalock (7-3) pitched four innings to earn the win for CHS.

The Wildcats got to the regionals by beating John Ehret 9-1 last week in the bi-district round of the playoffs.

McCune (9-4) pitched a complete game five-hitter with seven strikeouts and only one walk. He allowed only a bad hop single through four innings while the Wildcats took a 4-0 lead.

Carriere crushed a lead-off home run to right-center in the first inning, his third straight game with a homer.

In the second inning, DHS loaded the bases with one out and managed only one run. Schexnaydre blooped a single to right field, Brett Hebert walked, and Montz lined a single to left.

One out later, Lucich walked, forcing home Schexnaydre with the second run of the game for the winning Wildcats.

Destrehan added two runs in the fourth with two outs. Brett Hebert started the inning with a double off the center field fence. With one out, Hebert took third on a fly ball out to center and scored on a throwing error following Lucich’s grounder to third. Matt Smith then singled home Lucich, who stole second to get into scoring position. It was Smith’s team-leading 39th RBI of the season.

Ehret scored its only run of the game in the fifth on two hits. With one out, Phillip Craddock singled to right field and Torin Burns doubled to left to put two Patriots in scoring position. Craddock scored on Paul Riehm’s bunt  to get Ehret on the scoreboard.

DHS put the game away with a three-run fifth inning and two insurance runs in the sixth.

In the fifth, Scott Stonestreet walked, advanced to third on Schexnaydre’s single to left field, and came home when Patriot pitcher Curtis Ashford was charged with a balk.

Schexnaydre scored on a RBI double to right-center by Seth Montz, who moved to third on a wild pitch and crossed the plate on Carriere’s infield single.

In the sixth, Smith opened the inning with a four-pitch walk and McCune singled to left field. Smith reached third on a fly out to right field and then beat a throw to the plate on a grounder to third by pinch hitter Cameron Quigley.

Schexnaydre and Hebert both walked, the latter forcing home McCune’s courtesy runner, Jacob Marino, with the final run for the Wildcats.

Destrehan had 11 hits in the game, led by Schexnaydre and Montz, with three and two hits, respectively. Carriere had two runs batted in and his home run was one of five extra base hits by the Wildcats. DHS also drew eight walks in the game.

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