Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 22, 1998

Michael Kiral / L’Observateur / April 22, 1998

RESERVE -The Destrehan defense came up with two big plays in the final two innings as the Wildcats held off a late East St. John rally for a 9-8victory Saturday afternoon.

Destrehan moved into a second place tie in District 6-5A with East St.

John and Hahnville at 6-5. The Wildcats have won six of their last eightgames to improve to 6-13 on the season. East St. John fell to 11-13overall.

East St. John rallied from a 9-4 deficit to close to within one heading intothe bottom of the seventh inning. With one out, James Brock walked andKent Roussell singled to left field off Destrehan reliever Craig Naquin.

Darwin Pittman followed with a grounder to shortstop Roberto Martinez who flipped the ball to Kenny Perrier for the force out at second. Perrierwheeled and fired to first with Pittman being ruled out on a bang-bang play at the bag for the final out of the game.

Destrehan, which had lost 10-2 to East St. John at home earlier in theseason, jumped on top in the first inning Saturday. With one out Naquinhomered over the left field fence off East St. John starter RoydellWilliams.

After pitcher Corey Marcel doubled to left field, Mike Bierman reached on an error by Brock and Ben McLaren walked to load the bases. Williams gotJustin St. Pierre to pop up to second but walked Jason Pick to force incourtesy runner Todd Picou, giving Destrehan a 2-0 lead.

Williams settled down to pitch out of jams in the second and third innings, allowing East St. John to rally in the bottom of the third. Pittmanreached on a throwing error by Bierman to lead off the inning, and Williams and Jeremy Mitchell followed with singles to load the bases.

After Kerry Watkins walked to force in Pittman, Williams scored on a wild pitch by Marcel to tie the game. Samson Monica followed with a single toright field, scoring Mitchell and Watkins and giving East St. John a 4-2lead.

Destrehan bounced back in the top of the fourth as Pick led off with a walk and was forced out at second one out later by Perrier. Martinez kept theinning alive by drawing a walk, and Naquin followed with a single down the third base line to score Perrier. Brock overran the ball in left,allowing Martinez to come in with the tying run.

Naquin came around to score as Marcel dropped a double into center field.

Bierman followed with another double to center, scoring Picou and giving the Wildcats a 6-4 lead.

Destrehan built its lead to 9-4 in the top of the fifth. St. Pierre led offwith a walk and came around to score on a ground out by Pick and a single by Jereme Ledet. Ledet would score as Martinez singled to center with twoouts. After Martinez stole second, Naquin grounded to Monica at short.Monica throw to first went into the dirt, allowing Martinez to some in to score.

East St. John started its rally in the bottom of the inning as Mitchell ledoff with a double into the right-center field gap and Watkins walked.

Monica followed with a single to center, scoring Mitchell and sending Watkins to third. Jerome Anderson then singled just inside the right fieldline, plating Watkins to cut the deficit to 9-6.

Monica scored on a ground out to second by Brandon Mason. After Brockgrounded back to the mound, Kent Roussell singled to center to score Anderson and bring the Wildcats to within one. Marcel then walkedPittman and was relieved by Marcel who got Williams to pop up to second to end the inning.

East St. John threatened in the bottom of the sixth as Monica walked withtwo outs. Anderson followed with a drive into the right-center field gapthat Pick chased down for the final out.

“It was a great game,” Destrehan coach Mark Willoughby said. “I have togive credit to East St. John. We went ahead and they kept coming back. Wemade the plays we had to to win.”Willoughby also gave credit to his players who have climbed into the district race after starting the season with 11 straight losses.

“The kids deserve the credit,” Willoughby said. “They kept working hardand it has paid off. The kids have done great.”Marcel gained the victory to improve to 3-3 on the season. Marcel pitched4 2/3 innings, allowing eight hits while striking four and walking four.

Williams (1-1) took the loss while going the distance, allowing eight hits while striking out five and walking five.

“We started out slow,” East St. John coach David Guillot said. “Destrehanis a good baseball team and they made a lot of big plays in the outfield that we made the last game and didn’t today.”

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