Comets KO Central

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 23, 2011



HAMMOND – St. Charles senior pitcher Brady Hitt flipped his glove in the air and walked off the mound triumphantly before being swarmed by teammates.

Hitt had just fielded the final out of a three inning relief apperarance in which he picked up the winning decision in the Comets’ 9-8 win over Central-Baton Rouge at SLU in 10 innings.

“We played our butts off,” said Hitt. “It’s a big win over a good 5A team, so we’ll get a lot of power points … I just kind of felt relief (after the last out). That hard work paid off for us.”

The win was the seventh straight for St. Charles, but it was anything but a routine victory. The Comets led 7-3 in seventh inning, but Central scored four runs in the bottom of the seventh to tie the game. St. Charles also saw an 8-7 lead slip away in the eighth when Central again rallied to tie.

But the Comets escaped a jam in the bottom of the ninth and scored a run in the 10th to finally leave Hammond with a win.

“This team showed a lot of resilience,” said St. Charles coach Paul Waguespack, who could only smile when recounting the events of the game. “We’re in a 10 day stretch where we play seven games. We’ve won six. The last three days, we’ve played five games. It’s a gigantic win for us.”

It looked like a pair of seventh-inning errors would spell doom for the Comets. Two runs scored on a ball hit by Central’s Jacob Lesage after a Comets’ throwing error. Chet Myer then doubled in a run to make it 7-6.

But with two outs and after St. Charles starter Cody McMurry induced a potential game-ending ground ball by Dylon Buhler, a fielding error by second baseman Macky Cortez led to the tying run. McMurry struck out Layton Laird to end the inning.

LaJaylin Smith led off the next inning with a double to left field. Then Luke Poche hit a ground ball in the infield, but it was Central’s turn to make a critical error; on an errant throw to first, Smith scored the go-ahead run.

But in the bottom half, with runners on first and third, a passed ball allowed Central to again tie the game.

On the mound, Lesage retired the Comets in order in the ninth, then came up big with his bat. He crushed a double to deep right field, then advanced to third on a passed ball with no outs.

But Hitt, who came on in relief in the eighth inning, came up clutch. He struck out Kelby Blalock, then did the same to Jacob Schopp. SCC had intentionally walked Buhler for a potential force play, and a walk to Brett Courville loaded the bases. But Central would do no damage; Hitt struck out his third batter of the inning, Jared Roberts, to bring things to the 10th inning.

“I felt like at that point, there was nothing to lose,” said Hitt. “Just throw, and whatever happens, happens.”

Said Waguespack, “I can’t say enough about Brady Hitt.

“He just pitched against St. Thomas Aquinas this weekend. He went four innings, and we pulled him on purpose so he’d have the opportunity to come back if we needed him. He came up big tonight.”

It gave Cortez a chance to redeem himself with his bat, and he socked a double to deep right. He advanced to third on an infield single by Chad McNeil (Central went to third but Cortez beat the tag). With one out and Poche up, a wild pitch allowed Cortez to score from third and put SCC ahead 9-8.

Lesage struck out the final two SCC batters with the bases loaded, giving his team one last chance. Hitt got the first two batters to fly out before Central threatened on Sam Doucet’s double to left field. But Lesage hit a sharp ground ball right back to Hitt, who tossed it to first for the final out of the night.

SCC led 4-3 entering the sixth inning. Poche’s two-RBI single extended the lead to 6-3, and Donnie Savoie added one of his own to make it 7-3.

SCC scored three runs in the first inning on Chad McNeil’s two-RBI single and an RBI by Jared Keating. Shane McNeil’s third inning single plated SCC’s fourth run.

Hitt allowed three hits, walked two batters, and struck out four in his three innings of work.

McMurry started and pitched the first seven innings. He allowed five hits and just one earned run. He struck out six.

“What will go unnoticed is the great job Cody McMurry did,” said Waguespack.

“He did a great job, had his stuff going tonight.

“I can’t say enough. This is a resilent ball club. One game left before district, and we’re excited.”

LUTCHER TOURNAMENT – The Comets downed Catholic, 8-1, STA, 15-0, and Erath, 15-4, in a dominant three game stretch at this past weekend’s Lutcher tournament.

Against Erath, Chad McNeil hit a two-run home run, Hitt hit a three-run shot, Shane McNeil had an RBI triple and Cortez had a two-RBI triple.

Against STA, Brandon Zimmer hit a three-run home run, while Chad McNeil drove in three runs. Smith and Hitt each drove in a pair of runs.

Against Catholic-New Iberia, Jared Keating drove in three runs.