District 7-5A has become a three-team race in baseball and two of the top three teams squared off Tuesday afternoon at Destrehan with the host Wildcats prevailing over the visiting Wildcats of East St. John, 7-4.
Destrehan (21-5, 6-1) has won six straight games and 12 of its past 13, with the only loss coming to district-leader Hahnville to end another six-game win streak.
East St. John (12-6, 5-2) battled back in the late innings after DHS took a 7-0 lead with most of the damage done in a five-run third inning when ESJ committed four errors.
“Overall, I was pleased with the way we played. We scored early, and that’s what you want to do, jump out ahead of your opponent,” Destrehan coach Chris Mire said. “East St. John is never going to quit, especially with the coaches that they have.
“They have a lot of pride, and they’re going to compete until the last out.
“I’m proud of my guys for fighting but disappointed in that third inning, where we kicked it around, couldn’t make the routine plays, and didn’t throw strikes,” East St. John coach Matt White said. “All of the little things add up to big things in baseball.”
Destrehan touched ESJ starter Errol Cemelian (2-2) for two runs in the first inning. Kohen Granier delivered a two-out RBI single and Brandon Wild scored on a bases-loaded wild pitch.
In the crucial third inning, Wild walked and scored when Granier’s single to left was misplayed. With two outs, designated hitter Louis Kieffer banged a two-strike double to right to score Logan Krajcer, who kept the inning alive with a single to center. DHS added three unearned runs after two fielding errors, a throwing error, a passed ball, and a wild pitch by ESJ and a bunt single.
East St. John got on the scoreboard in the fifth. Phil Adams reached on a fielder’s choice and scored on two DHS errors after Ahmani Martin’s single to left. ESJ added two runs in the sixth on Justin Schneider’s two-run double to left field. Schneider finished with two doubles and two RBIs.
Adams generated a run in the final inning when he reached second on an outfield miscue of his single, stole third and scored on a wild pitch.
DHS pitcher Logan Babin (7-1) allowed three runs, two earned, and five hits over six innings to earn the win.
“Logan gave us a chance to win the game, and that’s what we asked him to do,” Mire said. He went out and did his job and got zeros.”
“We knew going into this game that they were a good team. They have some really good sticks. I was able to get ahead in the count and use my breaking ball early in the game,” Babin said.
East St. John reliever Demetrius Rudolph gave his team a chance by holding Destrehan scoreless after the third inning, pitching three no-hit innings.