Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 17, 2010



LAPLACE – St. Charles did a little bit of everything.

It pitched — Jared Keating struck out 11 and allowed just three hits. It hit for power — Grant Authement and Shane McNeil both homered. And it played some small ball—the Comets were active as always on the bases and collected five infield hits, including three bunt singles.

It all added up to an equation pleasing to all Comet fans: a District 9-2A championship clinching 10-2 win over visiting John Curtis.

“We just kept putting pressure on them,” said SCC coach Paul Waguespack. “We bunted the ball, hit the long ball, hit the short ball. We had a lot of long outs and made them feel it.”

St. Charles (23-4, 7-0) is on a major roll, the win signifying its 12th straight win.

Keating (7-1) went the complete game to earn the win.

“Curtis is a big rivalry, and it was a big district game so I was excited all week,” said Keating. “I was ready for it.”

He and Curtis starter Bryce Jenkins both looked sharp early, but once St. Charles got rolling the runs came in bunches.

Authement got it started in the second inning, leading off the frame with a home run over the leftfield wall to make it 1-0.

In the third inning, Marc Picciola and Brandon Becker hit back-to-back singles. The Patriots’ misplayed Becker’s hit in the outfield and Picciola would score from first to double SCC’s lead.

The Comets doubled it again in the fourth, after Shane McNeil drilled SCC’s second home run of the game, a two-run shot after Nick Reine was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning.

“We usually start slow, but we battle back and start hitting as the game goes on,” said McNeil.

SCC essentially slammed the door with a four run effort in the fifth. Authement singled to left, Reine singled on a high infield chopper, and Keating bunted for a single. McNeil drew a walk to force in the fifth run. Jenkins got a force out at home on a Jeffrey Hall ground ball up the middle, then struck out Brady Hitt to nearly get out with no further damage. But Matt Bonnecarre stepped up and socked a double that hit the outfield wall, bringing in two runs and making it 8-0. That forced Jenkins from the game.

Curtis (19-10, 4-3) got its runs on a two-run Gene Genevay home run to center in the sixth.

“I wanted to end it in the fifth. We know they can do some damage,” said Waguespack.

The Comets added runs on a balk and a Keating sacrifice fly in the bottom half.

It’s been almost a month since St. Charles has lost a game, its last defeat coming at Shaw on Mar. 21.

But Waguespack and his team aren’t satisfied.

“I didn’t even realize (the 12 wins in a row),” said Waguespack. “Certainly you have to be happy with that. I know you can’t be disappointed. I still think we can play better, even if that sounds crazy.”

Said McNeil: “(A district championship) is a goal you set and we’re happy. But the big thing is it’s a step closer to a state championship. That’s our main goal.”