They may have only gotten three hits in a game that went eight innings, but St. Paul’s got the hits when it counted the most.
Blake LoCicero’s game-winning single in the eighth inning scored Kyle Schimpf to give the Wolves a 2-1 win over Mandeville on Friday afternoon.
“I had gone up against (Mandeville relief pitcher Max Booker) before,” LoCicero said. “I was just looking for something to hit and something to drive. I had been missing fastballs all day, but I got one with two strikes and put a good swing on it.”
The Wolves (13-9, 7-2 District 6-5A) were held without a hit until the sixth when they scored a run to tie the game at 1-1.
Schimpf reached on an error to lead off the inning and stole second base. With one out, Peyton Lacoste singled for the Wolves’ first hit of the game. LoCicero then hit a sacrifice fly that scored Schimpf to tie the game.
“Every game is a big game from here on out,” LoCicero said. “We are only two games out of the district lead. We have to keep pace with (district-leading Northshore) as best as we can, and hopefully somebody can knock them off before we play them again. We are just trying to take every game one at a time and win them from this point on.”
Wolves coach Mick Nunez said he was happy with his team’s performance.
“I thought the Mandeville pitcher threw well,” Nunez said. “We squared up on a couple of them, but they made the defensive plays. We just kept taking our hacks, and luckily when we did get the hits, we had runners in scoring position. We made plays when we had the chances defensively as well.
“The biggest thing is I’m impressed with our toughness. We went extra innings in a one-run game. We battled back to tie it up. In the preseason, one of our biggest goals was to be a tougher baseball team. If nothing else this year, we are a tougher ball club. I’m happy with that.”
Despite throwing seven innings, it was a no-decision for LoCicero on the mound. The left-hander allowed an earned run on seven hits, striking out four and walking two.
Austin Barrios picked up the win in relief after striking out the side in the eighth.
Mandeville (9-17, 3-8) scored its lone run came in the third inning. With two out, Jojo Gennaro singled and stole second base. Harrison Jambon’s RBI single gave MHS a 1-0 lead.
The Skippers squandered an outstanding pitching performance by starter Hunter Roig, who suffered the loss. Roig allowed one earned run on two hits, striking out six and walking two.
It’s been a wild weather week for the entire area with rain forcing cancellations throughout the parish, something Nunez said he will be happy to see conclude soon.
“I’m physically exhausted from working the field and having to tarp the field and un-tarp the field,” he said. “I had to do it with our eighth-graders today and it was an absolute zoo.”