Comets blast pasts Blue Jays at Comet Classic

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 26, 2008


Sports Editor

After a loss to Riverside Saturday in the St. Charles Comet Classic, host St. Charles needed a victory in its final game on Sunday in order to clinch a share of its tournament title.

The one problem with that? Awaiting St. Charles in its final game was Jesuit – they of the Class 5A state champion variety.

On the contrary, there seemed to be no problem at all for the Comets. St. Charles defeated Jesuit 11-3, tying the Blue Jays at two wins in the tourney and with it a spot as tournament co-champion.

It was the first loss of the young season for the Blue Jays (3-1), who could have clinched the tournament outright with a win over St. Charles.

“It’s big for our program,” said St. Charles Coach Paul Waguespack. “We’re real excited. Whenever you beat Jesuit in anything, and with them being the defending 5A state champions, you accomplished something.”

Donovan Duffy (1-1) got the win for St. Charles. He went five innings, allowing only four hits and three earned runs. He walked two and struck out two batters.

After a tough opening outing against Dutchtown, Duffy rebounded in a big way.

“The bottom line is that Duffy responded,” Waguespack said. “He was up to the challenge. When he keeps the ball down, it gives us a chance against anybody.”

St. Charles (2-2-1) out-hit Jesuit 13-5 in the game.

The Comets trailed 1-0 in the second inning when Nick Reine, Matt Bonnecarre and Matt Murphy all reached to load the bases with two outs.

Alex Marse reached on an error, which allowed the Comets’ first run to score.

Then Corey Reed’s double cleared the bases and gave St. Charles a 4-1 advantage.

The teams would go scoreless until the fourth, when Jonathan Cancienne singled, then reached second and third on two consecutive errors. Bonnecarre’s push bunt brought him in to make it 5-1.

With the bases again loaded in the fifth, the Comets went ahead 6-1 when a walk to Reine forced in a run.

A Blue Jay two-run home run gave Jesuit life in the sixth. But St. Charles blew the game open in the bottom half of the inning, where Reed’s two-run home run made it 8-3. Jordan Millet would hit a two-run shot of his own to make it 10-3. Bonnecarre’s RBI single would cap off the scoring.

The home run capped a monster day for Reed at the plate, as he went 4-for-4 with five RBIs.

While Waguespack was very pleased, he stressed that the Comets can’t rest on their laurels.

“It’s a big, big win. But the question now is, where do we go from here?” he said. “I’m just happy for the kids. But again, it’s February. It’s still a long season, and we have a long way to go.”

Earlier that day, St. Charles tied Sterlington (3-1-1) 8-8 in a six-inning game that was called due to a time limit.

St. Charles led 7-5 entering the sixth inning, but a 3-run home run by Sterlington gave the Panthers an 8-7 lead.

But Reine’s solo home run in the bottom half of the inning preserved a tie for the Comets.

The Comets collected nine hits in the game. Combined with the Jesuit game, the Comets collected 22 hits in all on Sunday, a day after being held to two hits by Riverside’s Wade Delaneuville.

“We had a good day at the plate,” said Waguespack. “The kids came out early, got in the cage. Coach Mackey (Waguespack) worked with them. The work paid off for us.”

St. Charles played De La Salle (2-2) in its first game of the tournament, and never trailed on its way to an 8-1 victory.

The Comets scored two runs in the first inning and coasted from there, scoring runs in each of the first five innings.

Marc Picciola was 2-for-2 with two doubles. Bonnecarre was 2-for-3 with a double.

Reine (1-0) started and notched the win for St. Charles, going six innings and allowing only three hits. He struck out eight Cavaliers.

For a team coming off of an appearance in the 2A state championship game, the tournament wins are hopefully a precursor to greater success near the season’s end, said Waguespack.

“Everything leads up to district. These games are all meant to help us compete at the highest level,” he said. “That’s why we play the schedule that we do.”