A pair of former Denham Springs High pitchers helped lead Southeastern Louisiana University to 39 wins during the regular season and the first at-large postseason appearance in program history.
Southeastern was chosen as the No. 3 seed in the Baton Rouge regional, despite losing in the championship game of the Southland Conference tournament championship game and failing to nab the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.
Senior left-hander Kyle Cedotal and sophomore right-hander Mac Sceroler comprised two-thirds of the team’s starting weekend rotation throughout the season with Cedotal usually pitching on Friday nights and Sceroler on Saturdays.
Cedotal and Sceroler were first teammates at Denham Springs during Cedotal’s senior season there.
“It’s pretty cool being that me and Kyle have played together in high school and went through so much in high school, and now we’re on the national stage and still playing together,” Sceroler said. “We got pretty close that one year together in high school, and now the two years here we have gotten even closer.”
Sceroler got the nod for Southeastern in its regional opener against second-seeded Rice, taking a 7-2 loss after giving up four runs (two earned) on nine hits in 5.1 innings.
After the Lions bounced back with a 3-2 win over No. 4 seed Utah Valley to keep their season alive, Cedotal was scheduled to get the nod Monday afternoon in a rematch with Rice in another elimination game.
Cedotal was looking to build on a regular season in which he went 5-4 with a 3.19 ERA and logged a team-high 93 innings. Sceroler entered regional play with a 10-3 mark and a 2.18 ERA to go with a team-high 92 strikeouts.
“Being from the same high school, I definitely notice some similarities in us in the way we compete and the way we execute our pitches,” Cedotal said.
Southeastern had reached the NCAA tournament as an automatic qualifier in its three previous trips.
The Lions were in limbo after losing to Sam Houston in the Southland title game, just as they were last year when they were left out of the 64-team field on selection day.
“We knew we had a good season, but last year we had a great season, too, and still didn’t get a bid,” Sceroler said. “It was questionable.”
The regional bid was the second for Southeastern in three seasons, continuing the best run of success in program history.
“Every class that comes through seems to be taking it another step forward — another step in the right direction,” Cedotal said.
Efferson-Yellott takes Denham Springs softball job
Denham Springs made a splash last week when the school tabbed former Zachary coach Leslie Efferson-Yellott as its new head softball coach.
Efferson-Yellott led Zachary to its first appearance in a state championship game since 1994 last month as the Broncos advanced to the Class 5A final before losing to Alexandria. She also led Zachary to the quarterfinals in 2015 and the semifinals in 2010.
Efferson-Yellott also coached her alma mater, Baker High, to a runner-up finish in 4A in 1999.
A former Nicholls State softball standout, Efferson-Yellott takes over for former Denham coach David Bourque, who will remain at the school to focus on his duties as head athletic trainer. Bourque coached the Yellow Jackets to 5A runner-up finishes in 2011 and 2014.
Zachary team wins baseball tourney
The Zachary baseball team defeated Barbe 7-0 on May 29 to win the Denham Springs wood bat tournament.
Robert Burke went the distance for Zachary in the five-inning, mercy-rule win, striking out six and allowing only four hits.
A six-run outburst by Zachary in the bottom of the fifth finished the game.
O’Donoghue, Davis earn All-Metro honors
Denham Springs junior Abigail O’Donoghue and Live Oak senior Ashley Davis represented Livingston Parish on The Advocate’s All-Metro track and field team.
O’Donoghue earned All-Metro recognition for having the area’s best mark in the high jump at 5 feet, 9.25 inches. Davis made the team in two events — the discus and the shot put — after posting the area’s No. 3 mark in both events.
Walker’s Racca a Star of Stars
Walker senior Brandon Racca has been named The Advocate’s Star of Stars for boys powerlifting.
Racca was fourth in Division I at the LHSAA state meet in the 148-pound division with a total lift of 1,190 pounds.
Catholic High swimmer Colin Bone and Parkview Baptist softball star/track athlete Nicky Dawson were named The Advocate’s Athletes of the Year.