The Destrehan Wildcats have found their stride. After a relatively slow start, the now-healthy and locked in Wildcats (17-5-1, 3-0) have gone 13 straight games without a loss, 12 of those wins and one a tie. Destrehan has done it in a variety of ways, of late relying on its pitching and defense: DHS has allowed just a single run over the past three games, wins over Zachary, East St. John and Terrebonne.
“We learned from the adversity we faced early, our lineup’s intact and our pitching staff is really starting to throw the way we thought they were capable of throwing,” Destrehan coach Chris Mire said. “We’re far from perfect. We still have those opportunities we don’t cash in on sometimes, mental lapses, sometimes, that keep us from really being as good as we could be. But any time we’re getting the quality at-bats we’re getting from our offense, and we’re getting the quality outings we’re getting from our pitching staff, we’re gonna be competitive in every game.”
During this run, the lone game Destrehan was unable to come away with a victory was in a 5-5 tie with Brother Martin on March 17, a game in which the Crusaders scored all five runs in one inning.
Save for that inning, Destrehan has been exceptional throughout its unbeaten streak, earning wins over West Monroe, Brother Martin (in the first meeting of the teams), Shaw, Jesuit and Holy Cross among others.
“We’ve been fortunate to win some close ones. Those are all games we think are gonna make us even better down the stretch,” Mire said. “We’re learning how to win those types of games.”
The team’s pitching rotation has truly rounded into form. Ace Landon Marceaux is the big name and LSU commitment. Behind him are No. 2 starter Bryce Scioneaux and No. 3 starter Brennan Cortez, and both are emerging with big years.
“Bryce is really starting to pitch well,” Mire said. “He had a great outing against West Monroe in his first really extended start of the year and he continues to go out there and give us quality starts.”
Scioneaux struggled a bit early on, Mire noted, with falling behind in the count. He’s since addressed that issue and it has paid major dividends.
“He’s really been on top of hitters, controlled the count and kept his pitch count down,” Mire said. “He’s not giving up a lot of hits at all.”
Cortez, a 3-year varsity veteran and senior, simply attacks and fills up the strike zone relentlessly, Mire says.
“The dude’s a competitor,” Mire said. “He’s doesn’t back down from anyone and he dominates the strike zone. He has good stuff and he comes after you.”
Destrehan turns its attention today to H.L. Bourgeois in another district contest. Bourgeois sits in the top 10 of Class 5A teams in power rankings. First pitch is set for 4 p.m. today (March 30).
Marceaux’s five-hit shutout and Dane Simon’s first-inning solo home run were the ingredients to a 1-0 Wildcats non-district victory at Zachary Monday.
Marceaux struck out five and walked none in his complete game effort. He outdueled the duo of Zachary’s Nathan Keller and Anthony Fidonza, who combined to allow one earned run on five hits.
“It was a win over a quality opponent,” Mire said. “We were able to strike early. Dane, just like in the Hahnville game, they fell behind and threw him a fastball and he was able to barrel it up and got it out of there. Landon did a great job and controlled the game from start to finish.”
Destrehan got off to an ideal start in District 7-5A play last week, following up its district-opening win over rival Hahnville with victories over Terrebonne and East St. John to move to 3-0 in the league’s standings.
The Wildcats scored two runs in the fifth inning that proved the deciding factors in a tight 2-1 game at home with Terrebonne. The Tigers had scored in the top of the fifth to take a 1-0 lead before Cole Porter drew a walk to lead off the bottom half for Destrehan. Peter Carmichael bunted and reached on an error; two runs came across to score after Terrebonne committed another error on a fly ball hit by Brennan Cortez.
Bryce Scioneaux earned the win for Destrehan in a complete game effort. He allowed one run on four hits while striking out nine and walking one. Terrebonne’s Xane Washington took the loss despite allowing just a single hit, allowing two unearned runs over six innings. He walked four and struck out four.
Destrehan’s win over East St. John was a little less tense, DHS earning an 11-0 victory that came in five innings via the 10-run rule.
Nolan Lemoine went 2-for-2 with two runs scored and an RBI. Carmichael went 2-for-2 with two RBIs and two runs scored. Porter went 1-for-2 with three RBIs and Simon was 1-for-4 with two RBIs.
Cortez earned the win for Destrehan, going four innings and striking out nine. He allowed two hits and walked one. TreQuan Gabriel pitched a scoreless fifth, striking out two and walking two.
On Tuesday, Destrehan extended its unbeaten streak to 13 with an 11-2 victory over Central Lafourche in district play.
Evan Keller doubled, drove in two runs and scored two runs. Zachary Wild went 1-for-2 with two RBIs and two runs scored. Nolan Lemoine was 1-for-2 with two RBIs.
Scioneaux pitched the complete game en route to the win, striking out eight batters and allowing two earned runs on five hits and two walks.