St. Charles Comets edge Rebels, 2-1
Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 21, 2012
By RYAN ARENA
LUTCHER — St. Charles coach Paul Waguespack has been relentless in pushing the value of hitting groundballs and pressuring an opponent’s defense.
Saturday morning’s clash with Riverside certainly made “Coach Wag’s” case for him.
An error on a ground ball hit by Kameron Keller led to Connor Western scoring the eventual game-winning run as St. Charles (10-5-1) slipped by archrival Riverside, 2-1, at the Lutcher tournament Saturday morning.
“Such a big, big at bat in this game,” said Waguespack. “He battles, battles, battles and then he put it on the ground. Good things happen when you put the pressure on another team to make a play. And that was a perfect example.
“Kameron was 0-2 in that game. But that was an 11-pitch at bat. By himself, he saw 30 pitches from Tate Scioneaux. And that’s huge.”
It was a pitcher’s duel all the way between the Comets’ Chad McNeil and the Rebels’ Scioneaux, each entering unbeaten.
McNeil (3-0) twirled a two-hitter and walked just two, relying on his fastball to pound the strike zone.
“He wanted the ball in that game,” said Waguespack. “And he responded. Obviously his best game of the year when you consider the rivalry and the magnitude … He threw 87 pitches, 75 were fastballs. We just pounded the strikezone.”
Scioneaux, meanwhile, struck out seven in the loss.
The deciding fourth inning began with Luke Poche drawing a leadoff walk. Western came on as his courtesy runner. Kerry Waguespack sacrificed Western over to second with a bunt before Keller came to the plate for a extended battle with Riverside starter Tate Scioneaux. On the 11th pitch of the at-bat, Keller hit a ground ball up the middle and it was misplayed, allowing Western to score.
The Lutcher tournament was an extremely successful venture for SCC in that it yielded wins over its two chief local rivals, Riverside and Lutcher. The Comets finished in a 12-12 tie with Catholic-New Iberia, a game SCC rallied from three down in the final inning to secure.
Connor Smith (3-1) earned the victory against Lutcher, a win the Comets seized control of with a six-run second inning. Smith pitched the complete game, allowing four hits and striking out seven
Lutcher and St. Charles have now split two games, each winning at the other’s tournament.
SCC came away with the tie in a wild affair with Catholic-New Iberia that was keyed by both a seventh inning rally and a strong defensive play. The Comets scored three runs with two outs in the top of the seventh to tie things up. And in the bottom of the seventh, with two outs and a man on second, Catholic saw a chance to win evaporate when a ball hit up the middle was stopped by a diving Macky Cortez, who got up and threw the baserunner out at the plate to end the game.
Nick Montagut was 3-for-4 with two RBIs. Jeffrey Hall was 2-for-3 with two RBIs.
Full tourney results for Riverside will be in Saturday’s edition.