Wayne Stein would’ve appreciated Monday’s postgame Gatorade bath just for the relief it provided from the scorching heat at Kirsch-Rooney Stadium.
But he appreciated this one for a much more important reason.
It came after his St. Charles-based Townsend Homes captured the American Legion Southeast Louisiana Regional Tournament championship with a convincing 10-2 victory over Brother Martin-based Peake BMW.
Townsend Homes defeated Mandeville-based LLOG 11-4 earlier in the day to clinch a spot in the state tournament for the first time in team history, but apparently wasn’t satisfied with just reaching the tournament.
“(We wanted) the feeling of being the first (St. Charles) team to win the Southeast Regional,” pitcher Nick Scioneaux said.
Scioneaux had a lot to do with it.
The 6-foot-4 right-hander went the distance, allowing just three hits and striking out four batters.
“Boy did he deliver,” Stein said. “He threw about as well as you can throw.”
Townsend Homes and Peake BMW both advance to the American Legion State Tournament that begins Saturday and concludes July 22 at Kirsch-Rooney.
Townsend Homes entering the tourney on a high note, erupting for seven runs in the fourth to break the title game open.
The onslaught came despite Townsend Homes getting just three hits in the inning.
They scored two runs on bases-loaded walks and another on a catcher’s interference. Justin Loupe then drove in a fourth run on an RBI single to right.
Three more runs scored on the next at-bat when Justin Ory reached on an error. Ory scored on the play, rounding the bases as the ball trickled to the right field wall.
“We took advantage of some things,” Stein said. “I attribute that to us putting pressure on them.”
They added another run in the fifth on another error — Peake BMW’s third of the game.
Peake BMW’s Michael Kirsch, who had two of his team’s three hits, belted a two-run double in the sixth to help avoid the shutout. But it wasn’t nearly enough on a day when they committed five errors.
Townsend Homes scored two more runs in the seventh on a Lloyd Nash RBI single and another Peake error.
“We played with a lot of energy for a team that had just played a nine-inning game,” said Stein, a 1999 St. Charles grad. “I can’t say enough about my kids. We just played one of the best stretches of baseball I have ever seen in my coaching and playing career over the past three days.”
Loupe, Nash and Zack Roussel had two hits each for Townsend, which had 10 hits.
It was the pitching duo of Zach Weber and Zachary Russo who combined to beat LLOG in the earlier game, allowing Stein to save Scioneaux for the title game.
“It means a lot to play well against a good team,” said Scioneaux. “It was tiring. You just have to stay hydrated.”
It was particularly tiring for guys like Scioneaux, one of 10 guys who also play football at St. Charles. They lifted weights earlier Monday morning for football.
“Our school is built on multi-sport athletes,” Stein said. “We have only three guys out of the 18 that just play baseball only. I think days like this show their toughness.”
Six other teams from throughout the state had already qualified for the state tournament, including three from the New Orleans area that won their respective district titles.
Defending state champion Retif Oil (Jesuit), Refuel (Shaw) and the River Ridge Patriots (John Curtis) all won district titles and will be joined at the state tournament by Gautier & Amedee (Gonzales), the Delhomme Drillers (Acadiana) and the Crowley Millers (Crowley).
The bracket for the state tournament will be announced Tuesday.