A perfect script was there to be written. The Redemptorist baseball team’s quest for a perfect ending came unraveled because the Wolves couldn’t achieve perfection in the field Wednesday night.
Five errors in the first three innings set the tone as third-seeded Oak Grove claimed an 11-6 victory over Redemptorist in second-round Class 2A playoff action at RHS’ Emerald Park.
“It was a wonderful event that was put together for us out here,” Redemptorist coach Daniel Jewett said. “The game didn’t end the way we wanted it to, but with the crowd coming and showing the support you just can’t help but be excited about it.
“Win or lose, it’s still a happy ending because all these people came out to watch us. I think there were over 600 people here and maybe Oak Grove brought 30 people. You’re talking 550-plus parents, fans and alumni. It returns us to the glory days, when people all over the city used to come watch us.”
On display at the gate was a display honoring the 1965 RHS team that won a state baseball title, complete with the trophy. The game was the last home sports event for the north Baton Rouge parochial school that will close at the end of the school year.
Oak Grove (19-7) raced out to a 7-0 lead and will move on to try to garner a state championship trophy. The Tigers face Northlake Christian in their fifth straight quarterfinal appearance.
Members of the first Redemptorist baseball team in 1955 and 10 members of the 1965 title team took part in pregame ceremonies. Oak Grove set the tone early, thanks to leadoff hitter Wyatt Martin, who finished 3-for-4 with a grand slam and four runs scored.
“There were two other games, where I can recall that we had similar start,” Jewett said.
“One of which we came back from. It should have been a 0-0 ballgame going into the fourth. That’s baseball.”
Martin led off the game with an infield single off starter Caleb Nunez. He later scored on an error to make it 1-0. The Tigers tacked on two more runs in the second. Martin got another hit and was advanced around the bases by an error.
OGHS scored four runs in the third with two errors also impacting the scoring. Martin and Ry Clark had hits in the inning.
Nunez put the Wolves (15-15) on the board with a two-run home run in the bottom of the third. Nunez walked a couple of batters in the top of the fourth, setting the stage for Martin’s grand slam. The Wolves would ultimately use three pitchers. Devyn Sampson pitched three scoreless inning in relief to close the game.
Oak Grove struggled with errors later in the game. Two Tigers errors ignited a three-run fifth for the Wolves. The home team scored another run in the six but couldn’t get any closer.
“It’s really not the way you want to go out,” Nunez said. “We really wanted to go to Sulphur and win it all, but there’s no better fans than what we have right here. They’re so welcoming and warm. They make you feel good whether you win or lose.”