Destrehan pitcher Kade Granier ruled the day as he pitched what coach Marty Luquet called the best game of his career in a no-hitter in the first round of the playoffs against Byrd.
Both teams braved a forecast for rain as they battled it out. The rain never came and hits for either team failed to materialize as well until the fourth inning. Up until that point Byrd ace John Snyder had kept pace with Granier.
“They had a real good pitcher too,” Luquet said. However, in the fourth inning Snyder walked Granier and then Sam Steib cracked a single for the first hit of the game. After Brock Benedetto was walked to load the bases, a single by Nathan Pilutti sent a run home while a sacrifice fly by Jacob Cambre rounded out the inning for 2-0 DHS lead.
Luquet said that inning was what his team needed.
“We got some big at bats in a key inning and that, to be honest with you, is what set the stage for today. We were able to get some runs when we needed it in the fourth inning when we scored two. From that point on we hadn’t done anything, it was kind of hard for both teams,” he said. “That gave us some more breathing room, but with the way Granier was throwing, they were overmatched.”
Granier led off the fourth by hitting a batter, but regained his composure to keep Byrd from scoring. The rest of the game was firmly in the hands of the Wildcats when Granier added to his day with an RBI single to stretch the lead to 3-0.
Granier ended the game with 11 strikeouts and only walked one batter.
No. 11 DHS will travel to Alexandria to take on No. 6 Alexandria High School for a three-game series on Friday, May 2 and Saturday, May 3.
“Alexandria has two quality pitchers, one is a left hander, that are doing a good job for them. They are district champs and that always makes it that much harder to play because they are used to winning and they are used to being successful,” Luquet said. “We really just have to play our own game and do what we do. It’s our guys’ job to move 90 feet and as long as we do that we will be successful.”
Nick McClendon will get the start on Friday and is 6-2 on the year. Granier, who is 9-0 in the year with a 0.77 ERA, will only be able to pitch one of the games.
“We are going to have to get a win out of some of the other guys, but Granier should be able to come back and pitch one of the games. That makes Friday’s game that much more important,” Luquet said.