DENHAM SPRINGS — A parade of pitchers all headed to play collegiate ball led the West to a 7-1 win at the Louisiana High School Coaches Association baseball all-star game Saturday at North Park.
West coach Glenn Cecchini of Barbe High had more than enough options as six pitchers held the East to just two hits and one unearned run to go along with 12 strikeouts.
“I thought the pitching was really good by both teams,” Cecchini said. “(Andrew) Lowe was very dominating. He’s going to be a big leaguer one day.”
Lowe, an Ole Miss signee from Airline, pitched the final two innings for the West. He faced seven batters striking out three and walking one.
Mississippi State signee Kale Breaux and Louisiana-Lafayette walk-on Derek Boutin combined to hold the East scoreless over the first four innings. From there, North Vermilion’s Donald Comeaux (UL-Lafayette), Benton’s Aaron Sheppard (Louisiana Tech), and Sacred Heart-Ville Platte’s Phillip Vidrine each pitched an inning.
Vidrine was the only one that ran into trouble. The East picked up an unearned run in the seventh off of him.
Dutchtown’s Tyler Boeding had a single, and U-High’s Jake Wharton was hit by a pitch to help the East put two runners on with two outs. U-High’s Manny Miles then grounded to third, but West first baseman Daulton Williams of Hicks couldn’t handle the throw.
Maurepas’ Donovan Thibodeaux scored on the error, and another hit batter had two men on again for the East. St. Amant’s Justin Duhon flew out to left to end the threat.
“We got some guys in position to score, but we weren’t able to come away with anything,” East coach Paul Guerriero of Neville said. “Of course, they were running great pitchers up there every inning, so when you get the opportunity you better take advantage of it.”
The West broke on top with single runs in the first and third innings. Barbe’s Braden Comeaux struck out but reached on a passed ball in the first. After a single and a stolen base, Comeaux scored on a sacrifice fly by Loyola’s Austin Townsend.
LSU signee Antoine Duplantis scored in the third. He reached base on a fielder’s choice and moved to third on a passed ball and a wild pitch. He eventually scored on a throwing error to give the West a 2-0 lead, a score that stood until the seventh.
The West loaded the bases with two outs in the seventh off of Dutchtown’s Dillon Abbess. There was confusion in the dugout before Iowa’s Dayton Sonnier finally came out for his second at-bat.
Once at the plate, Sonnier wasted no time proving his head was still in the game when he laced a two-run double to right-center. The hit gave the West a four-run lead.
“I didn’t quite know everybody’s name, and I didn’t know who I was supposed to hit after,” Sonnier said. “(The pitch) was there so I hit it.”
In the eighth, Bryant Bowen of Captain Shreve highlighted the West’s three-run inning with a two-run homer to left. That shot put the West on top 7-1. A Southern Miss signee, Bowen was named the West’s most valuable player.
The West finished with eight hits off of eight East pitchers. Topped by three strikeouts apiece from Denham Springs pitchers Bailey Holstein and Travis Swaggerty, the East hurlers combined to strike out 12. They were hurt by three passed balls and two wild pitches.
Wichita State signee Lenni Kunert of Live Oak was the East’s most valuable player. He started and played five innings at third and also reached base on a third-inning error.