Comets claim district title

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 24, 2002


LAPLACE – “They expected to win and I told them we were going to find a way to win,” said a relieved head coach Paul Waguespack after his Comets defeated the Lutcher High School Bulldogs 4-2 for the District 10-3A title Thursday.

The two teams couldn’t have entered on a more level playing field. Each had won one of their two meetings this season, were tied for the district crown with equal records of 9-2 and both have only one non-district game remaining.

Waguespack said the St. Charles Catholic Comets conquered the third of their four preset goals, hopefully leading up to a state championship. The Bulldogs had the same goals set, but will have to settle for a second place district finish heading into the playoffs.

The similarities end there. Defensively, Comets’ pitcher, Jason Waguespack, pitched a complete game and allowed only four hits, while striking out nine batters across 93 pitches. Offensively, the Comets held a steady rhythm from the plate, although scoring two of their four runs with two-out hits.

Lee Kliebert hit a double off the center field wall to bring in Jeremy Triche for a Comet 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning. One out later, a Randy Madere hit put runners on the corner bases. Madere stretched to steal second, but an unsuspecting Andrew Revall was thrown out, when Lutcher catcher Chris Guidry noticed his lead from third and made the play. Jason Rauch stepped back up to the plate and delivered an infield hit.

The door swung open for the Comets when a Bulldog error at first sent Rauch to second and Madere home for the 2-0 lead.

“I truly believe they were focused, I don’t know what other word to use,” said Waguespack. “It’s a relief. I told them before the game, ‘you deserve to be district champions.'”

The Bulldogs began their offense patiently and watched one walk and 12 outs shut down their 13 batters. With their opening strategy bearing no hits, the Bulldogs became aggressive in the fifth inning for their four hits and two runs. Jordie Perilloux started with an RBI single, followed by a solo home run by Tyler Teague.

The runs filled in most of the Comets’ prior three-point lead, but the Comets were quick to answer when Triche brought Waguespack off the bases on another two-out double. The Comets completed the game by sending the next six Bulldog batters back, two via strike outs.

“It was a good ball game,” said Lutcher head coach Scott Tribble.

“We had a chance to get outs, but missed location on some pitches. We thought we had the momentum on our side and tried to turn it up a little by being aggressive but disciplined.”

Waguespack linked the Bulldogs fifth inning runs to a competitive Lutcher team and a somewhat relaxed Comet defense. He said the St. Charles crew began playing “not to lose” and told them they had to go out and play like the first innings.

“These guys are thinking about the big picture,” said Waguespack.

“Everybody predicted us to win and coming out of this district it’s a big deal.”