While Hahnville has fared quite well in district play in recent seasons, non-district fare has been a spottier circumstance, in the end leaving the Tigers with a lower than desired postseason seeding. Not so this season, at least so far. The 2016 Tigers are roaring out the gates, entering this week with an 8-1 mark that includes victories over teams like East Ascension, Dutchtown, Parkview Baptist and, most recently, Jesuit.
Hahnville coach David Baudry said before last weekend’s Jesuit tournament that the Tigers would have a chance to set themselves up for a high postseason seed later this year were the team to rack up a few victories against a slew of highly-regarded opponents.
So far, so great: Hahnville went 3-1 at the Jesuit tourney, beating Shaw, Mandeville and Jesuit to serve notice that this team will be a factor in Class 5A.
“We certainly thought we would be very competitive this season, so I can’t say we’ve surpassed our expectations (so far),” Baudry said. “I’ll say we’ve been playing very clean baseball (defensively), swinging it well and we’ve had that constant on the mound — our pitching has been tremendous.”
The Tigers’ 4-2 win over host Jesuit capped the tournament and came in 10 innings, in part due to a strong performance by Waylon LeBlanc in his first start of the season. LeBlanc struck out 10 and allowed two earned runs in the game.
There was some clutch hitting as well responsible for the win, as Austin Perrin’s two-run triple in the 10th inning plated the winning runs. Earlier in the game, it was Bryce Hargis’ triple that gave Hahnville life.
Payten Dufrene and David Vial pitched three innings of scoreless relief, with Dufrene notching the win and Vial earning the save.
“We were very opportunistic offensively all weekend,” Baudry said. “We got some big hits when we needed them, as evidenced by those triples (by Hargis and Perrin).”
If Hahnville can replicate that level of play at this weekend’s Barbe tournament (all games scheduled for Saturday and Sunday), Baudry said it would be “huge” for the team’s seeding prospects down the line. Hahnville has games scheduled against Barbe, Evangel and St. Thomas More in addition to a rematch with Jesuit.
“It would be very good to end up in the top 5,” he said. “That puts you in your home field for most of the playoffs. We’ve focused on playing better in non-district than we have over the past couple of years and we’re fairly confident we’re accomplishing that now.”
HAHNVILLE 12, MANDEVILLE 5 — Hargis and Pat Phelan each came through with two hits and two RBIs as the Tigers bested the Skippers.
Hargis also earned the win on the mound, pitching seven innings and allowing one earned run while striking out seven.
HAHNVILLE 8, SHAW 1 — The Tigers took a first inning lead and never looked back against the Eagles.
Logan Billingsley and Payten Keller each had a double and two RBIs for HHS.
Austin Perrin earned the victory in a seven inning, 10 strikeout performance. He allowed one run on seven hits and two walks.
BROTHER MARTIN 7, HAHNVILLE 0 — LSU committed pitcher Blair Frederick struck out 10 and allowed just two hits over 6.2 shutout innings as the Crusaders handed the Tigers their lone loss of the Jesuit tourney.