Brother Martin’s Raphael Deroche is looking forward to a short Saturday afternoon at Kirsch-Rooney Stadium.
How about Evan Pace of Zachary?
It’s a matter of perspective after second-seeded Brother Martin earned a 4-2 win Friday night during the opening game of a Class 5A regional best-of-three playoff series.
“We wanted to come out there and play our game,” said Deroche, who hits his first career home run. “We had to stay within ourselves and play our baseball game.”
While the Crusaders hope to mimic their timely scoring and solid performance on the mound, 15th-seeded Zachary aims to extend its New Orleans road trip to a decisive Game 3 by finding the holes in Brother Martin’s defense, something it was unable to accomplish Friday.
Game 2 is scheduled to start at 1 p.m. Saturday. Zachary left-hander Cory Musselman (7-2) will face Brother Martin righty Corey Gaconi.
If necessary, Game 3 will follow. The Broncos would pitch Micah McHugh, while Brother Martin’s pitcher is to be determined, coach Mark Wisniewski said.
“We were just hitting it square at everybody,” Pace said. “They put some key balls in key gaps, and we just couldn’t find the holes.”
Pace did what he could for Zachary (22-12), notching his third home run of the season with a third-inning shot to left field. Coupled with Steven Babin’s sacrifice fly in the second, Zachary led 2–0.
Brother Martin (29-4) then scored the final four runs, starting with the two-run third inning. With two outs, Daniel Lahare’s double drive in a run, and Jarett Gongora’s single through the infield drove in another.
In the fourth, Deroche’s home run gave the Crusaders their first lead. And his sacrifice fly in the top of the seventh extended Brother Martin’s lead to 4–2.
The offense proved to be enough, with Gongora limiting the Broncos to four hits in a complete game.
“We really hit the ball better late in the game,” Zachary coach Jesse Cassard said. “We just had nothing to show for it. We hit missiles right at them. Tomorrow’s a new day. We’ll be ready to play.”
The Crusaders plan to be ready, too.
“It’s good to have a 1–0 lead,” Wisniewski said. “But if we don’t come out and play tomorrow, it could be a long day.”