Hahnville High American Legion squad hits ground running

Hahnville's Joey Saucier

Otto Candies winning early

There are plenty of new faces hitting the field for Hahnville’s American Legion team this summer, which plays in the summer league under their traditional banner of Otto Candies.

The team turns over almost the entirety of its 2018 offensive lineup, with seven seniors graduating and moving on. But early in its summer schedule, Otto Candies appears to be coming together quickly, posting wins in five of their first eight games.

“There’s a lot of things we have to stop and go over, a lot of teaching to be done,” head coach David Baudry said. “We’ve got a full schedule of games and we’re practicing two days a week because we feel like our players need a lot of development this summer. They’re responding very well. We’ve been very competitive in just about every game we’ve played and we’ve come through to win a couple of close ones.”

In a 4-3 win over John Curtis Patriots Legion squad, Max Farrell’s single in the bottom of the eighth inning plated Mason Lucky to clinch a walk-off victory at Hahnville. Otto Candies shook off a late Curtis rally as the Patriots scored three runs over the sixth and seventh innings to tie the game.

Farrell went 2-for-5 with an RBI and run scored. Joey Saucier and Adam Lorio each went 2-for-3, with  Saucier collecting an RBI.

Saucier — one of the team’s few constants from prep season, as he enters the summer as Hahnville’s top returning pitcher — went five innings for a no decision. The right-hander allowed two earned runs, four hits and struck out six.

Jack Stumbo earned the win after three innings in relief. He allowed one unearned run and struck out four.

Those two pitchers have been consistent forces atop a rebuilding pitching staff.

“(Saucier) has command of all four pitches,” Baudry said. “He’s been most consistent guy. He got a little bit of experience last year and (this past season) took over that role as the ace of our staff and did a really, really great job.”

Stumbo, meanwhile, earned time on the mound during prep season, and the left-hander has flashed his considerable potential.

“He’s really figured it out,” Baudry said. “When he stays in the strike zone he can be really effective. He can get swings and misses and be really effective. He’s working extremely hard at his craft and he’s pitching very well.”

Otto Candies (5-3) had its biggest offensive eruption of the summer in a 19-9 home win over Vandebilt Catholic.

Hayden Theriot had a perfect day batting cleanup at the plate, going 3-for-3 with two RBIs. Saucier went 2-for-3 and drove in four runs, scoring two. Farrell went 1-for-2 with four RBIs and three runs scored.

“We’ve made strides offensively,” Baudry said. “We’ve mainly stayed in the strike zone, getting bunts down and running the bases well.”

Baudry hopes to see his team continue to build positive momentum this summer, ultimately hoping to see Otto Candies make a run to the American Legion state tournament, which would begin on July 6. The team would have to qualify through district and regional tournament play.

“That would be one of our keys,” Baudry said. “I’d really like to make it there, just to be able to compete at that higher level during the summer.”


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