The Slidell High baseball team was sporting its traditional Kelly green piping on its home jerseys for the District 6-5A opener against St. Paul’s.
But even though the game was played on St. Patrick’s Day, the green school colors brought no luck to Slidell on Tuesday night.
St. Paul’s dominated the Tigers in an 8-0 win at Slidell.
Junior left-hander Blake LoCicero was the prime catalyst for St. Paul’s (6-5, 1-0.) LoCicero threw a complete game, three-hit shutout against Slidell. He struck out 13, didn’t allow a walk and his defense played flawlessly.
LoCicero (3-1) threw 105 pitches in seven innings against Slidell. He worked a crafty change-up into his repertoire Tuesday and punctuated it by hitting the corners with his above-average fastball.
“I was excited coming in today,” he said. “We’ve put a lot of work in. We still have plenty business to take care of, but this was a great start to district. That’s what it’s all about.”
LoCicero also went 2-for-3. St. Paul’s totaled nine hits against Slidell (8-5, 0-1.)
“We’ve been playing some tough teams, and we’ve been battling with everyone,” St. Paul’s coach Mick Nunez said. “Some nights everything falls into place for you, and this was one of those nights.”
The Wolves wasted little time in scoring against Slidell. After William Heurtin blooped a double to open the game, Austin Barrios beat out an infield single. Barrios advanced to second on a passed ball, and Heurtin scored on a single by Kyle Schimpf. Barrios scored on a sacrifice fly by Nick Chaisson to make the score 2-0.
Slidell got its leadoff runner on in the bottom of the inning when Justin Deslatte doubled and was sacrificed to third by Tyler McManus. A strikeout looking ended the inning, however, and the Tigers only manage baserunners in the third and seventh innings after.
The Wolves added another run in the top of the fourth when LoCicero doubled to deep right center and pinch runner Matt Meyers scored on a passed ball and a throwing error trying to nab him at third. Peyton Lacoste singled and Cole Cameron walked to put two on with two out, then Rutger Fury was hit by a pitch to load the bases.
Heurtin followed by loping a double past the hard charge of the Slidell right fielder. The hit cleared the bases and made the score 6-0. The Wolves put two more runs on the board in the seventh when Heurtin singled, Barrios walked, LoCicero singled and Bradley Yaeger knocked in two with a double.
Slidell starter Devan Bertaut (3-1) was relieved in the fifth after allowing six runs on six hits.
“This is one baseball game, but we have to improve, obviously,” Slidell coach Clay Harris said. “They beat us in every phase of the game tonight.”
Heurtin led St. Paul’s going 3-for-4. Deslatte recorded two of Slidell’s hits with his double in the first and a single in the third. Spencer Cayten doubled in the seventh to collect the Tigers’ only other hit.