It wasn’t easy, but the Jesuit Blue Jays are on to Round 3 of the Class 5A baseball playoffs.
The Blue Jays picked up a 5-3 victory over Destrehan in eight innings Saturday at John Ryan Stadium.
“They’re never easy,” Jesuit coach Joey Latino of the series-clinching win. “Especially when you’re playing a gritty, talented team like Destrehan when so much is at stake.”
Fifth-seeded Jesuit won the best-of-three series opener Friday 1-0.
No. 12-seeded Destrehan got on the board first in the second inning on an RBI single by Brandon Wild. The Blue Jays answered with three runs of their own and looked to be in the clear heading into the bottom of the seventh inning.
But the Wildcats weren’t done.
The first two batters Destrehan runners reached base before P.J. Carmichael’s sacrifice bunt put the tying runs in scoring position. Jesuit conceded a run for an Andrew Morrow groundout to cut the lead to 3-2. Dane Simon then reached on a throwing error by Nick Ray to send the game to extra innings.
Jesuit did not show any effects from blowing the lead in the top of the eighth.
Ray walked, then tried to reach third on a single by Austin North. Left fielder Kohen Granier’s throw was in time, but off target. The ball bounced off Ray’s helmet and far away from any of the fielders, and Ray was able to score.
“When I slid into third, I thought I felt the ball hit me in the helmet,” Ray said. “Coach Latino told me to get up and go home because I didn’t know where the ball went. I got up, scored and the dugout went crazy.”
Brandon Briuglio later singled in North to make it a 5-3 game.
Destrehan made it tough on Jesuit in its half of the eighth.
After Mason Mayfield walked a pair of batters, Latino made the switch to Todd Crabtree.
Crabtree walked his first batter to load the bases, but struck out Cole Martin and induced a ground ball from Brandon Robichaux to end the game.
“Josh (Schmidt) came out and gave me a little advice,” Crabtree said. “Coach told me not to play with it and just get after it.”
Jesuit will face either Hahnville or Catholic in the quarterfinals Friday. It’s again a best two-of-three format.
“I’m very proud of the boys and the way they overcame adversity, “ Latino said. “We could have folded there after that mistake in the seventh inning. But we regained our composure, got big hits, and then Todd did a great job to close it out.”