SULPHUR — Exactly 20 years to the date of its last title, the St. Paul’s baseball team can once again call themselves state champions.
Senior Jacob Boudreaux pitched 5⅓ innings of one-run ball and Matthew Russo had two hits and two RBIs as the No. 3 Wolves defeated No. 4 Rummel 7-1 in the LHSAA AllState Sugar Bowl Division I state championship game at McMurry Park.
“This is indescribable,” Boudreaux said. “One of the happiest days of my life.”
Spurred on all season long by how its 2018 season ended in the state championship game to John Curtis, St. Paul’s (27-6) jumped on Rummel (22-13) immediately, scoring three runs on two hits in the first inning. Kyle McLaughlin led off the game with a walk and Nick Vitale singled. After William Duncan was hit by a pitch to load the bases, Russo smacked a two-run single into centerfield to make it a 2-0 affair. Duncan later scored on a wild pitch.
After Rummel pushed across a single run in the second inning on an RBI single by Logan Bertucci, the Wolves answered an inning later via an RBI fielder’s choice by Nick Wright and an RBI sacrifice fly from Connor Simon to make it 5-1. St. Paul’s later added two more runs in the sixth.
“Satisfaction is the word that keep coming to my head,” Russo said. “We have been working all year to get to this game. We knew we had to finish it and bring this title home. I thought getting out to an early lead was important because we were able to maintain it well this time as opposed to the state semifinal game against Brother Martin.”
The three early runs were more than enough for Boudreaux on the hill. Pitching in his final game, he allowed only a single run on three hits, striking out five.
“It’s like what Matthew said the early lead allowed me to go out there,” he said. “Relax and throw strikes. I felt locked in for quite a while.”
For his efforts Boudreaux was named the game’s Most Outstanding Player.
Coaching his last game as the head coach of the Raider baseball program, Rummel coach Nick Monica said he believed his team may have came out a little nervous.
“Losing is one thing,” Monica said. “I just wish we'd played a better game. I think we came out of the gate real slow and really nervous. You can't put the first two guys on base without making them swing. (at the plate) We couldn't string together anything. We'd have a couple good at-bats and then a non-productive out. Just all around, I don't think we played a very big baseball game today. Hopefully the younger players take this game and learn from it and can bounce back from it.”
Moving onto the top spot on the Raider football program, Monica said he hopes he had a positive impact on the Rummel baseball program after nine years in charge.
“I hope I taught them something,” he said. “It's been a long road, and a majority of those guys I've known for a long time, and a majority of the lineup has been starting since they were freshmen, no matter what year it is for them now. I told them I hoped they'd learned some baseball and maybe some life lessons from me over the last nine years and that I'm not going to be far away. If they need me, I'll be around. It's a good group of kids and a great group of seniors to go out with.”