After an epic 11-inning battle between Chalmette and John Ehret last season, Jacob Snyder gave up the game-ending run and had to watch from the mound as the Owls celebrated as District 8-5A champions.
The Owls returned to Ehret on Tuesday with the same stakes on the line, but Snyder wasn’t going to let the opportunity slip away again.
The Patriots (13-13, 9-1) got a stellar performance from their 6-foot-3 left-hander and a huge hit from Chad Clement to beat Chalmette 3-1 and clinch the District 8-5A title at home Tuesday afternoon.
As district champions, Ehret locked up its first trip to the Class 5A playoffs since 2012.
“We knew this would be a close game. It always is against Ehret,” said Snyder, a Southern University signee. “But I just wanted to make sure I threw my best and the defense did a great job behind me.
“We’ve got to enjoy this one because it’s a huge win for us, and I’m just happy to have these guys with me to enjoy it.”
Ehret came into Tuesday ranked No. 53 in the LHSAA’s unofficial power rankings for Class 5A. A loss to Chalmette would have ended its hopes for a potential playoff berth.
But Snyder was dominant the entire day against Chalmette (20-9, 8-2). He had a no-hitter going into the seventh inning before Chalmette’s Alex Powell hit a leadoff single.
Snyder was disappointed after giving up his first hit but, he responded to thwart Chalmette’s late comeback attempt. In seven innings, he gave up one run, one hit and five walks and struck out 12.
“We’re 13-13 as a team, but with (Snyder) on the mound we’re 8-3,” said Ehret coach Kenny Francingues. “He makes us a very good team, and we’re very good at doing just enough of the little things to get wins. Our guys made it happen once again today.”
The teams were tied at one heading into the fourth inning, and neither side could get much going offensively, but Clement came through with the big hit the Patriots needed to put them over the top.
After Jeff Williams reached base with a leadoff bunt single, Clement hit a towering two-run home run over the center field wall to give the Patriots a 3-1 lead, and they never looked back.
“When I went up to the plate, my teammates told me to just do whatever I got to do to get a hit,” Clement said. “I was really thinking double the whole way, but once I got to first base, I saw it go over the wall, and it was all I ever dreamed of.”
Both of Chalmette’s losses in district were to Ehret this season, but the Owls came into Tuesday ranked No. 18 in the power rankings and are still in a good position for a potential postseason berth.