DESTREHAN — When Landon Marceaux returned to Destrehan High School last week, most people asked where he had been for the past three weeks.
Only a few knew to ask, “Can I see your medal?”
The standout Wildcats pitcher and well-traveled travel ball player spent the past month making history as a member of the Team USA 18-under National Team. A two-time all-state selection and LSU commitment, Marceaux was on the squad that won the World Baseball Softball Confederation’s World Cup on Sept. 10 in Canada. It was Team USA’s fourth consecutive World Title and came with a nice, shiny gold medal and a lifetime of memories for the Destrehan youngster.
“The dogpile was unbelievable,” Marceaux said. “The coolest thing was to see my parents after the game and to hug them and tell them thank you for allowing me to do that.
"We’re in Canada, out of the United States, and I just won a gold medal with 19 other guys that I just met three weeks ago. To come out on top was just unbelievable.”
A week later, Marceaux was still trying to come down from the incredible high.
“Out of the thousands and thousands of players they looked at, to be one of the top 20 is a real honor,” Marceaux said. “And to put on the USA jersey is even more of an honor, to be representing your country. Coming back to school a gold medalist — words can’t explain. To face Japan, Australia, Canada, Korea, the Netherlands, South Africa — it was a really, really cool experience.”
Marceaux pitched seven innings, giving up four hits, walking three and striking out 11 in the tournament. He got one win against Canada on Sept. 7. He started against Japan, but was relieved after a lengthy rain delay. He was the closer against South Africa, striking out five of the six batters he faced. He also had a solid relief appearance against Canada, pitching five innings in a Super Round. He was in the bullpen as the team sealed its final win over Korea, but was on top of the celebration.
“I was Superman flying on top,” he said.
Most of his fellow students had no clue where Marceaux had been. While they were shopping for school supplies, he was packing, first for North Carolina, where he was among 80 of the nation’s top baseball players invited to participate in the Tournament of Stars to vie for a spot on the team.
A dominant pitcher the past two seasons in prep play and a force on the travel ball circuit, Marceaux made the 40-man cut, then the 20-man cut and was sent to Minnesota for a week of training.
But first, Marceaux had to get special permission from school officials to miss the three weeks of school.
“How can you say no?” Destrehan Principal Stephen Weber said. “You’re talking about somebody’s future. (Assistant principal) Frank Harding, who deals with scheduling, came up with a plan and credit goes to his teachers. They all worked with him. Now he has to do a presentation to show how it was educational and he has to pass his classes.”
The experience certainly shouldn’t hurt his future. Already considered one of the top prospects in the country and a probable high draft pick next year, Marceaux committed to LSU in October of 2015. He was only a sophomore.
“My dad is an LSU alum,” Marceaux said. “I’ve grown up loving LSU and LSU baseball. I’ve been to plenty of games. I went on a visit in August (2015), right after they offered me and it just stood out. I felt right at home. I knew I wanted to call LSU home.”
Marceaux loves LSU so much, in fact, that he is considering skipping his senior season entirely to get to the college early. That would make him ineligible for the upcoming draft, but (he hopes) put him in a purple and gold uniform sooner.
“I am considering it,” he said. “There’s a possibility. There’s an opportunity. It kind of hit me that it’s not fair to my high school teammates to just kind of walk out on them. I’m not proud of that. But it’s an opportunity that not everybody gets. You can only imagine the decision I have to make.”
Blake Benedetto, who has been coaching and advising Marceaux since he was 10 years old, said Marceaux is a special player.
“He’s always had that ability,” Benedetto said. “His drive and determination to be a pitcher, he’s had that since he was 10 years old and he’s always put in that work.”