While the American Legion Second District playoffs were initially set to begin Wednesday (June 28), Mother Nature had different ideas, giving teams the impetus to kick things off a bit early.
The district tournament began Tuesday (June 27), with the top three of the five district competitors set to advance to the Southeast Regional. The district playoff was moved up to begin a day earlier because there were numerous rainouts this summer, and coaches elected to start the tournament this week rather than make up regular season games and pushing back the playoffs to next week. Games will be hosted by each team as seedings dictate.
This year’s Second District tournament is double-elimination and will run through Friday. Otto Candies (Hahnville High School), ES&H (Destrehan High School) Pedal Valves (comprised of players from multiple area teams) and teams based from Lutcher and St. Charles Catholic make up the field.
Destrehan is 4-4 this summer in Legion competition, 2-2 in district play. Many of the teams enter the tournament relatively cold in terms of inactivity after last week’s storms, none more than Destrehan, which hadn’t played since June 19.
“It’s hard to even tell you where we’re at heading into this thing, since we’ve been off for a week now,” ES&H coach Chris Mire said before the tournament began. “I don’t know how that will affect you. It’s never good, but they’ve had the same issues we’ve had. Whoever can come out, throw strikes and make the fewest mistakes, that team will have success here. Hitting is the biggest question mark (after so much time off).”
Otto Candies has reached the regional tournament in every season of coach David Baudry’s tenure. The team has also reached the American Legion state tournament in four of the past five seasons. It won the Southeast Regional championship last season, winning five of its six games at the double-elimination tournament.
ES&H 3, OTTO CANDIES 0 – The two archrivals squared off on the district tournament’s first day, with Destrehan scoring a shutout victory behind a strong combined performance from Josh MacCord and TreQuan Gabriel.
The two pitchers combined to allow two hits and struck out 10 batters between them. Zack Wild drove in two runs while Cole Porter plated another. Dustin Joliff went 2-for-2 at the plate.
Matt Champagne took the loss for Otto Candies, going five innings, allowing one earned run (three total) and six hits.