One couldn’t blame Hahnville for showing a bit of exuberance after felling Brother Martin in the finale of the Gerald Oubre Invitational tournament Sunday night, the Tigers overcoming the No. 1 ranked team in Division I — and weeks of frustration along with it.
“It couldn’t have come at a better time,” said Hahnville coach David Baudry.
Joey Saucier’s game-tying two-run double in the bottom of the seventh set the table for Ryan Barbier’s walk-off RBI single to lift Hahnville (3-13) to a 6-5 victory, allowing catharsis for a team that had come close against several of the state’s top programs over the first half of the season before falling just short, which resulted in 12 losses in the team’s first 13 games.
Sunday saw the Tigers put it all together.
“We kind of celebrated like we won a championship,” Baudry said. “I think it was more about the frustration of the previous three weeks. Our kids were very, very legitimately excited … Brother Martin played really well, we played really well, and we got that last hit.”
Cameron Schmill got the start for Hahnville, going 5.1 innings and allowing three earned runs on six hits and four walks. He struck out three. Vladimir Furl came on in relief and earned the win, allowing a lone hit and one run in 1.2 innings.
Offensively, Collin Maise and Ethan Chacon helped set Hahnville up for its late game heroics, Maise driving in two runs and Chacon going 2-for-4 with an RBI.
David Bernard and Dustin Ford reached in the seventh to set the table for Saucier with one out.
“A huge double … he’s our most experienced player, so to give him an opportunity in that situation was huge. Ryan came through next and got it done,” Baudry said.
It represented Hahnville’s second win in three games, the first coming against Fort Worth Country Day (Texas). Saucier drove in two runs in that game as well, while Jack Stumbo earned the win, allowing two runs on four hits and striking out nine in a complete game effort. Hahnville’s loss in the three games came in the Oubre tourney to Live Oak, a game that Baudry felt the team played very well despite the loss.
Baudry believes Sunday’s win could be a jumping off point as the team opens District 7-5A play this week.
Already, it’s provided a mental lift for a program not used to slow starts.
“At times during that stretch, you could see the frustration for our guys,” Baudry said. “To be able to keep our head above water … the good thing was, they identified some of the things we needed to do better. They took ownership. When you’re struggling, you begin to wonder and doubt … so that, I think, was what was huge about that win.”
For it to add up to something lasting, though, Baudry said there can be no off games going forward.
“I think a lot of these improvements give credence to playing the caliber of teams we have, but now we have to reap those benefits,” Baudry said. “We have to come out and play well over these next 15 games, and we have to do it every time.”