Otto Candies moves on, eliminates Townsend Homes
Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 16, 2008
By RYAN ARENA
Otto Candies Coach Kade Rogers called it one of the toughest weeks he’s had to endure, be it as a player or a coach.
But the Hahnville-based squad wouldn’t let it derail its summer season just yet.
Despite playing in its eighth game in eight days, Otto Candies generated a late offensive surge to defeat St. Charles-based Townsend Homes in a Second District West elimination game, 8-4 at Hahnville on Sunday.
After losing to Townsend 7-0 on Friday, Otto Candies finished the double elimination district playoff by defeating Bell Office Machines (East Jefferson) 5-4 on Saturday and Townsend on Sunday to survive and advance to the Southeast Regional, that will begin Saturday at Kirsch-Rooney.
“For these kids to have performed like they did today, and this week, it just shows so much character,” said Rogers, whose team played a full schedule this week after making up two games and facing Valero in a one-game playoff to determine the tournament’s top seed.
“They come out to the park and know it’s a place to have fun. But when the lights come on, they’re ready to perform.”
For Townsend Homes (12-11-1), the summer season ended in the same park it did a season ago.
Especially frustrated was Townsend Coach Paul Waguespack, as the game ended with his team having lost a 4-2 lead that it built in the second and third innings. Protecting leads proved the teams’ Achilles heel this summer, as a number of potential wins slipped away from Townsend.
“It’s typical. We go up, then relax,” said Waguespack. “We leave runners out there, like we think we’re good. We’re not good enough to leave runners on like we do and expect to win.”
Townsend trailed 2-0 in the second inning when Marc Picciola led off with a double off of pitcher Jordan Unger. Brandon Becker doubled him home for Townsend’s first run.
Becker reached third on a wild pitch, then Grant Authement hit a sacrifice fly to tie the game. Matt Bonnecarre doubled, then courtesy runner Tyler Roussel stole third. Alex Marse’s sacrifice fly gave Townsend a 3-2 lead.
In the top of the third, back to back doubles by Nick Reine and Brady Hitt extended the lead to 4-2.
Otto Candies (18-9) answered in the bottom of the fourth, cutting the lead in half when Jared Harrell scored on a wild pitch by Townsend’s Henri Fauchier.
With two on in the bottom of the fifth, Picciola replaced Fauchier on the mound. But Otto’s Dillon Boudreaux and John Gomez each doubled, the first tying the game and the latter bringing home two runs to make it 6-4.
Otto’s Buddy Trauth and Blaise Dempster each scored in the sixth as a result of an errant pick off throw by Bonnecarre and a wild pitch, respectively.
Townsend’s bats went silent once Rogers called upon pitcher Justin Zoglio in the fifth inning. He allowed only one hit and no runs across.
The sixth represented Townsend’s best chance to even things up, when Zoglio ran into a patch of trouble, hitting a batter and walking two. But Townsend came up empty handed.
It was continued success for Zoglio against Townsend, as he pitched Otto to a 1-0 shutout victory in the two teams first meeting this season.
Rogers said Zoglio’s earlier success against Townsend was in his mind before making the move.
(See LEGION, Page 10A)
“We thought about it yesterday,” Rogers said. “We pulled him early enough (on Saturday) so he’d be able to come in today. He wants the ball in a pressure situation.”
Zoglio, though, said the pressure didn’t weigh on his mind at all.
“There’s been pressure all summer. Pressure to earn a spot on the team, to make the rotation. So I was used to the pressure. It’s not very different.”
Waguespack said that Zoglio presented the same problems as in the first meeting.
“He comes with a fastball and a cutter, and we don’t catch up,” he said. “It’s a credit to him though. He threw strikes.”
Otto Candies and Valero St. Charles were rained out on Monday and were rescheduled for Tuesday at press time. The winner will be the top seed at the Southeast Regional from the West division.