Forced showdown for district championship
Much of the 2019 season has been painful for Hahnville, filled with tight games and tough losses, but the Tigers appear to have shaken it off down the stretch. HHS is playing its best baseball of the season and seemingly peaking at the right time — certainly so, on Monday.
Hahnville brought archrival Destrehan’s unbeaten run in District 7-5A to an end in decisive manner, capturing a 10-0 victory at DHS. The game concluded after five innings via the 10-run rule.
Joey Saucier earned the win on the mound, going the complete game and striking out four en route to a four-hit shutout.
“The kids been working very hard and have improved steadily throughout the year,” said Hahnville coach David Baudry. “And this was, by far, the best we’ve played as a unit, defensively, offensively and on the mound.”
Offensively, David Bernard led the way for Hahnville (13-16, 9-2) by going 2-for-3 with three RBIs. Saucier, Max Farrell and Dustin Ford each went 2-for-3 with an RBI, with Farrell scoring two runs and Ford one. Ryan Barbier went 1-for-2 with a pair of runs scored.
Hayden Theriot put Hahnville on the board for the first time, igniting a six-run second inning with an RBI single. Max Farrell doubled home another run to make it 2-0, then Dustin Ford’s single made it a 3-0 lead. Bernard hit a sharp grounder that got through to score two more runs, while a sixth run came across when Colin Maise was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.
Destrehan (20-9, 10-1) attempted to punch back in the bottom half of the inning, threatening when Nathan Rhodes and Dylan Weber reached with no outs. Saucier dug down and struck out the next two batters before getting a pop fly to end the inning.
“He usually gets a lot tougher when people are on base,” Baudry said. “Joey’s a guy who rises to the occasion.”
Hahnville tacked on one more in the fourth and three in the fifth to end it.
For Destrehan, Avery Schexnaydre and Nathan Rhodes each doubled to lead the team offensively.
Wildcats’ ace T.J. Thomas took the loss, going 1.2 innings and allowing five earned runs.
“We were just trying to hunt fastballs,” Baudry said. “Not try to do too much and just put it in play, and we were able to hit some good ones early. (Thomas) is excellent, no doubt about it. I think it’s a testament more to the preparation our kids had and the work they put in.”
Putting up those early runs put Hahnville in excellent position with Saucier on the mound.
“We had him out there, fully rested … he’s been our guy, really for the last two years,” Baudry said. “He did a tremendous job again out there.”
The win kept the Tigers alive in the district championship race, as a sweep of Destrehan would leave the two teams with identical district marks of 10-2. The two teams are set for a rematch today at Hahnville that will decide the district championship. A Tigers win earns them at least a share of the crown-with a two-game head-to-head sweep of DHS. A DHS win would mean an outright title, setting the Wildcats alone in first place.
Monday’s win was Hahnville’s sixth in seven games, a run that has cemented a postseason berth.