Hahnville will likely have to travel in the opening round of the Class 5A postseason, and Tigers coach David Baudry admits that creates a challenging circumstance.
The veteran coach does believe he has a group that could be up to the task of making a run nonetheless — with a game left to play, the Tigers are closing out the regular season playing perhaps its most consistent baseball of the season, extending its record to 18-13 with wins in eight of its past 10 games.
At midweek, the Tigers were ranked 19th in the projected field of Class 5A postseason teams in terms of power points. A jump to 16, which would net a home game, wouldn’t be out of the question, though Baudry said the odds are against it. The state baseball playoff brackets are released Sunday.
“The percentages there aren’t in our favor, so it looks like we’ll open on the road,” Baudry said. “We’ve been playing pretty well the last couple of weeks. It’s going to take a good effort to be able to advance, but I feel like we can get hot and make a little bit of a run.”
The team’s pitching fuels confidence in Hahnville’s potential as a postseason factor. Hahnville has allowed three runs or less in each of its past five games and in nine of its past 10.
The Tigers could be especially dangerous, then, were the team’s bats to ignite for a hot run. Hitting with runners on base has been an up and down experience for Hahnville this season, though timely hits came through in the team’s past two wins, over Terrebonne and H.L. Bourgeois, respectively.
“(Monday), we were able to do it. Last Thursday we were able to do it,” Baudry said. “We’re pitching really well, and when you’re able to get timely hits along with that, you always have an opportunity to win. We’re getting guys on base, we just have to drive them in when we have the opportunity.”
Hunter LeBlanc, Cameron Galland, Matt Champagne, Josh Nunez and Chipper Baudry have each been heating up and finding ways on base over the past few weeks, and if that continues Hahnville should be in good shape.
Once Hahnville learns its draw Sunday, Baudry said the ideal scenario would be to set up a game the following day. Because round two of the playoffs is a best two-out-of-three series that would likely be played Friday and Saturday, spacing out Monday’s game from those contests would be best to preserve pitching as much as possible.
“I think every coach would like to play Monday if at all possible,” Baudry said. “You have to have all hands on deck for that best two-of-three. If you have to use up guys on Tuesday and not have them available or on short rest, it complicates things.”
After splitting with H.L. Bourgeois, Hahnville took the first game of its two game series with Terrebonne on Monday, earning a 5-1 win at home.
The Tigers’ Joey Saucier pitched a complete game, allowing six hits and no earned run (one unearned). He struck out seven and walked none.
Hunter LeBlanc and Hayden Theriot each doubled in the game, while Matt Champagne drove in two runs.
Host Bourgeois bested Hahnville Friday, 3-1, led by Austin Labat’s complete game effort. Labat allowed one earned run on five hits and struck out five. He outdueled Dane Wise, who went the complete game and allowed no earned runs (three unearned) on three hits and no walks.
The Tigers took a commanding early lead in the first game with Bourgeois at Hahnville, however, scoring five runs in the first inning highlighted by Josh Nunez’s two RBI single.
Saucier earned the victory in that game, allowing no earned runs (one unearned) on four hits. He struck out seven and walked none. Hunter LeBlanc and Matt Champagne each got two hits, with Champagne scoring twice and LeBlanc once. Nunez drove in two runs.
Hahnville closes the regular season with an 11 a.m. matchup Saturday at Catholic-Baton Rouge.