Led by an experienced, talented pitching staff and with six position players returning from a year ago, Destrehan has a chance to be a Class 5A factor. “I think we have a very talented team, with a chance to be really special if we play up to our potential,” Mire said. “Our pitching staff, without question, is our strength. We have four quality starting pitchers again this year, and that’s rare at the high school level. Two of the team’s four starters are seniors who have been pitching varsity baseball for three years. Two young guys our juniors, are probably our two most talented guys. We’ve got a nice little blend of talent and experience.”
That rotation is led by junior and LSU commitment Landon Marceaux, who emerged as his staff’s ace last season. Marceaux went a perfect 6-0 last season with a 0.64 ERA. He struck out 64 batters in 55 innings and walked 18.
“He’s definitely put in a lot of work this offseason,” Mire said. “He really put on some muscle and added a few miles per hour to his fastball. He’s probably in the best shape he’s been since he got to Destrehan.”
Offensively, the team is paced by centerfielder Dane Simon, a returning Class 5A All-State selection and a Nicholls State signee. Simon batted .440 last season for the Wildcats while posting a .530 on-base percentage and stealing 19 bases.
“He’s just like your typical college baseball player,” Mire said. “He knows the game and he loves the game. He outworks everybody. Just his instincts on the baseball field, offensively, defensively, it’s something that, as much as you try and teach that to other guys, it’s just a special ability he has. Along with some of our other seniors who have been through it. They understand the game, have a feel for what it’s all about.”
Seniors Evan Keller and Brennan Cortez will be big factors in the heart of the Wildcats’ order. Both are returning All-District players.
“We have six seniors and all are going to be critical to our success,” Mire said. “Evan Keller, he’s headed to play at (LSU-Eunice) and he’s looked really good so far. Brennan Cortez is one of our top pitchers and he’s established himself in the middle of our order. He’s really been our run producer so far and he’s given us some quality at-bats.”
The Wildcats’ first weekend in regular season play didn’t yield the results they hoped, however. An 1-3 start against a slate of quality teams — games against St. Amant, East Ascension and Dutchtown resulted in losses, while Destrehan bested Hammond — and Mire said his team must refocus.
“I didn’t think we played up to our abilities,” Mire said. “The critical element for our success will be our ability to show up and playing winning baseball every day. We can’t have days we show up and make four or five errors. We need to arrive with right mindset every day and go out and compete.”