Poirrier’s no-hitter sends Rebels into state semifinals

Published 12:00 am Monday, May 9, 2005

Poirrier and Miller both hurl no-hitters in classic


Sports Editor

RESERVE-An instant classic.

In one of the greatest high school baseball games in recent history, Riverside’s Jordan Poirrier and Loranger’s Wade Miley each hurled no-hitters Thursday afternoon in the state quarterfinals of the Class 2A baseball playoffs.

Only an unearned run in the second inning for the Rebels was the difference however, as it is Riverside who advances on with a thrilling 1-0 victory.

The Rebels now advance to the Class 2A state tournament that begins on Tuesday on the campus of Louisiana-Monroe. Riverside will take on the winner of Loyola/Quachita Christian on Tuesday at a time yet to be determined.

An expected pitcher’s duel, Poirrier and Miley did not fail to disappoint.

With several Major League scouts locked in on their radar guns looking on, Poirrier retired Loranger in order in the top of the first inning.

Miley was nearly as equally dominant in the bottom of the first, allowing only a walk to Poirrier before striking out Nick Falgoust and Josh Labiche.

After Poirrier again retired Loranger in order in the second inning, the Rebels got to Miley for a single unearned run which proved to be the game-winner.

Second baseman David Mabile led off the inning with a walk. First baseman Wade Delaneuville then lined a shot into right-field that was misplayed allowing Mabile to advance to third base.

With runners on the corners, Riverside Head Coach Steve Stropolo made the call to attempt a double steal and when Miley threw to first to try and pick off Delaneuville at first base, Mabile slid into home avoiding the tag from catcher Drew Miller to give the Rebels a 1-0 lead.

“What we do was we have the runner have an extended lead at first base and if a pick off is attempted at first, we are running automatically to the plate,” Stropolo said. “On that play, we actually had him stealing because we figured that they (Loranger) thought that he was never going to run.

“What happen was that they threw to first and David was smart enough to take off immediately.”

One run proved to be all Poirrier would need as the junior right-hander would face only one batter over the seven-inning minimum.

Only a ball to the head of second baseman Jesse Dempster kept Poirrier from perfection as he picked up the complete-game no-hitter, striking out 11.

“I’m so excited right now,” Poirrier said. “All that is going through my mind is that we have to go up to Monroe and play as well as we can. I could not do it by myself out there, my teammates made some good plays behind me.

“It is one of those games that you just dream about. I was really focused. In my bed last night I went through everything in my head and then coming out here after school I knew what we had to do and get accomplished.”

Faced with only four three-ball counts throughout the game, Poirrier was able to stay ahead of the Loranger hitters throughout.

“Staying ahead is always the key,” Poirrier said. “If you go back and look at the books, hitters who are behind in the count are never really too successful. That is really the main thing that you want to try to do when you are pitching.

“Getting that one run early was big. Coming into this game I knew that it was going to be a one-run ballgame. I credit my teammates for being able to get that important run in the second inning.”

Stropolo said after the game that he knew his squad was in for a tough contest.

“I had a feeling that it was going to be like this,” Stropolo said. “It was a 2-1 game last year, the same two kids pitched. Wade is a great athlete. He is going to do everything for you. What I was worried about was that he has a bunch of homeruns.

“Both kids pitched a hell of a game and it was a shame that one of them had to lose.”

Stropolo said Poirrier got stronger as the game progressed.

“In the beginning we mainly used the fastball and changeup and we started throwing his curveball later on in the game,” Stropolo said. “It really worked well for us.

“It was very important for him (Poirrier) to stay ahead of the hitter.s. I was just a little disappointed with our performance at the plate. I knew that we were going to strikeout several times, but we got called out a bunch of times. I don’t mind striking out if you are swinging.”