SCC bests RA twice

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 2, 2011



LAPLACE – As district play begins, St. Charles is playing its best baseball of the season.

The Comets clinched a series victory over archrival Riverside this week with a pair of wins to start District 9-2A play undefeated. The Comets defeated a hot Rebels team 6-3 on Thursday and 13-3 on Wednesday and have now won nine times in their last 10 games.

“We’re playing pretty well right now,” said St. Charles coach Paul Waguespack after Wednesday’s win. “We’re swinging it really well. (Tuesday), even in our outs, we had a lot of hard hit balls.”

Wednesday’s victory came at St. Charles in a continuation of a contest that started Tuesday – the game was suspended in the third inning due to rain with St. Charles (14-6) leading 5-2.

Once play resumed, the Comets wasted no time in extending their lead. Luke Poche and Jeffrey Hall each collected RBI singles to push the SCC advantage to 7-2 in the bottom of the third.

Riverside threatened in the next inning as Grady Gieger singled and C.J. Edler reached on an error. But Dylan Martin fired a ball back at McMurry on the mound, who fielded it cleanly and recorded the out at first for the inning’s third out.

Keating led off the bottom of the fourth with a double to left field. Brady Hitt – who hit a home run in his previous at bat a day earlier – laid down a bunt and reached. He’d steal second, setting up Shane McNeil, who doubled to centerfield for a pair of RBIs to make it 9-2.

Hitt brought back his power game in the fifth, his towering two-run home run to right field making it 11-2.

It was Hitt’s eighth home run of the season.

“As a senior, you know you have to step up and lead,” said Hitt. “I had a good read on (the pitch) … it was important to win today for us to get the upper hand in the series. But we have to keep pushing.”

The Rebels added another run on Dustin Madere’s RBI single in the sixth. But St. Charles wouldn’t let it get to the seventh. Chad McNeil and Austin Ourso walked and Poche singled to load the bases for Hall, who hit a ball that resulted in an error for the Rebels. Two runs scored to end things by the 10-run rule.

“I just wanted to see a little more fight,” said Riverside coach Matt White. “They jumped on us (Tuesday) and we didn’t respond to it.”

McMurry (2-2) went the complete game, returning Wednesday after starting the game on Tuesday.

“I can’t say enough about him,” said Waguespack. “He threw 50 pitches yesterday and he told me he could throw today. He wasn’t lying.”

Said McMurry: “I wasn’t even really thinking about it. I just went out and threw my game … I wasn’t tired. It was good to set the tempo of the series today.”

Hitt said that he and the rest of the team’s pitching staff appreciated the effort as well.

“I know he helped us out,” said Hitt. “Going two days in a row, it gives us a chance to rest up.”

The Comets took a 1-0 first inning lead on an RBI single by Keating, then led 3-0 on an RBI triple by Hall.

Riverside cut the lead to 3-2 on Tate Scioneaux’s two-run home run in the top of the third.

But Hitt answered with his own two-run shot in the bottom half to make it 5-2.

White promised a “different team” Thursday and that’s what the RA fans at Fernandez Field got – the Rebels took an early 1-0 lead Thursday on Scioneaux’s RBI single in the first inning. He knocked in Martin, who walked and stole second.

Scioneaux and the RA defense held onto the lead until the fourth inning when Keating, who started on the mound for the Comets, sparked SCC with a double. Hitt took advantage, homering for the third time in as many days and pushing the Comets ahead 2-1.

“Jared’s double I think showed us that we could hit (Scioneaux),” said Waguespack. “Then Brady hits one out on a 3-2 count. Jared does the same later. We were just battling and battling.”

The Comets cashed in on the same combo again when the next two batters came up: Shane McNeil doubled to set up Macky Cortez’s two-run home run later in the inning, making it 4-1.

Riverside answered in the bottom half of the inning on back-to-back solo home runs by Scioneaux and Bryant Tassin, cutting the SCC lead to one, 4-3.

In the sixth, each team negated a chance for the other to break things open. St. Charles loaded the bases with no outs in the top half, but Scioneaux and the Rebels got out of it when Chad McNeil popped out and Ourso lined into a double play. Riverside had runners on second and third in the bottom half, but Keating would pitch out of it.

The pitcher wasn’t done, as he’d blast a two-run home run to right in the seventh to extend SCC’s lead to three. The Comets held in the bottom of the seventh for the victory.

St. Charles scored all six of their runs with two outs.

“Never giving up on an at-bat. And right now we’re swinging it really well,” said Waguespack.

“It was the kind of game I expected.

“Especially with Scioneaux on the mound, they’re a very good team. But we really had our bats going, we made no errors, and we’re getting the pitching. We’ve been putting all three phases together lately.”