Brusly bests Comets 7-3, earns split

Published 11:45 pm Friday, April 5, 2013



LAPLACE – Fresh off of a dramatic come-from-behind victory at Brusly Tuesday, St. Charles Catholic sought to ride that momentum to a sweep of the District 7-4A rival Panthers.

But it wasn’t to be. A complete game effort by lefthander Luke LeBlanc and first inning two-run home run by Taylor Prejean helped propel Brusly to a 7-3 victory at SCC, earning a split with the Comets.

The win was a crucial one for Brusly, which had already lost two games to E.D. White this season on top of Tuesday’s loss to SCC.

“It was a very big game for us,” said Brusly coach Tait Dupont. “Coming into today, we were unofficially at number five in the power rankings for 3A. Our goal is to be in the top four and get those three potential home games.

“Throughout the ride up here, in the batting cages … you could tell these guys were ready to play today.”

LeBlanc moved to 5-0 on the season, allowing six hits while walking three. He struck out three and hit three batters.

The game’s critical moment came in the sixth inning,  with the Comets down 7-2 and up to bat. After Luke Poche and David Bleakley reached with one out, Jon Brown came up with a pinch-hit single to load the bases. LeBlanc hit Comets’ leadoff man Kameron Keller with a pitch to force in a run, making it 6-3 with the meat of the order upcoming.

But Brusly turned Mason Bordelon’s ground ball into a double-play, the throw just beating the runner to the first base bag to end the inning.

“That changed the game,” said LeBlanc.

SCC got two on with one out in the seventh, but LeBlanc struck out Brandon Zimmer and got Poche to fly out to end the threat.

Dupont said he asked LeBlanc if he had enough left to go out for the final inning and got the answer he hoped for.

“I knew I had to finish it,” said LeBlanc. “I was sitting in the dugout and I just told myself, we weren’t losing this game.”

St. Charles coach Paul Waguespack said that Brusly earned the victory.

“They did the things that we used to do well,” said Waguespack. “The things we didn’t do well today and haven’t been doing consistently.”

The Panthers took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning on Prejean’s two-run blast just over the wall in right-center. Kwanston Adkins reached on a Comets’ error to lead off the inning.

“From the first pitch, we commit an error, Brusly bunts the guy over and then gets the home run,” said Waguespack. “They executed and we didn’t. It comes down to that.”

St. Charles fired back with a run in the bottom of the second.

Zimmer drew a walk and Luke Poche drilled a ball to the outfield, going for an RBI triple that made it 2-1 and fired up the Comets.

Brusly began to get their bats rolling in the third, though, after Adkins’ lead off single led to another two run inning. Blake Manola bunted him over and Prejean collected his third RBI on a single. Landon Andre’s RBI single with two outs made it 4-1.

The lead grew to 6-1 in the top of the fifth on Cullen Prejean’s double; the throw from the outfield was ruled to go out of play, advancing all runners two bases – after scoring Taylor Prejean, Cullen Prejean advanced to score on that ruling, making it 6-1.

SCC added its second run in the bottom of the fifth on Austin Weber’s sacrifice fly, plating Kameron Keller who led the frame off with a single.

For the Comets, Poche went 2 for 3.

Two days after notching a win in relief over Brusly, Connor Smith took the loss for SCC, going five innings and allowing six runs, four earned. He allowed seven hits and walked two. Bleakley pitched two innings in relief, allowing one run and one hit.

Waguespack said that offensively, it came down to execution of the gameplan on Tuesday, and the lack thereof on Thursday.

“On Tuesday, 16 of our 24 outs were ground balls or line drives. Today, 16 of 21 were fly balls,” said Waguespack. “You can’t win like that.”

The Comets committed three errors on the day, while Brusly committed none.

Meanwhile, for St. Charles, the week’s split ultimately means that the Comets must sweep E.D. White to capture the District 7-3A championship – a daunting task, given that the Cardinals are currently ranked atop Class 3A in the LSWA poll.

But before that can happen, the Comets have a game at Rummel  set for Monday, then two matchups with St. James and a road date with Brother Martin.

“I’m disappointed right now. I can’t put my finger on it,” said Waguespack. “We just can’t make the kind of mistakes we’ve been making against teams like this.”

ST. CHARLES 5, BRUSLY 4 – The Comets trailed 4-2 entering the seventh inning but rallied to force extra innings, where Chad McNeil’s solo home run lifted the Comets to a 5-4 victory over the Panthers.

Brusly tied the game on Adkins’ home run in the bottom of the sixth and took a 4-2 lead on a pair of Comet errors.

But Zimmer led off the top of the seventh with a walk. Ian Mitchell walked and Keller singled to load the bases. SCC made it 4-3 on a wild pitch, then Bordelon stroked a single to tie the game.

“(Zimmer) turned the game around. He battled and battled, fouled off three 3-2 pitches and got on,” said Waguespack.

Smith earned the win in relief, going 2.1 scoreless innings in relief.

McNeil started and allowed four runs on five hits and two walks in 6.2 innings.