Strong rotation could lead Candies far

Published 11:45 pm Friday, July 4, 2014


NEW ORLEANS — Two summers ago, David Baudry led Hahnville-based Otto Candies through the American Legion Southeast Regional and State Tournament, his team finally bowing out in the Mid-South Regional. It was the furthest a Hahnville-based Legion team had ever gone.

But Baudry’s been further. His 2006 Rummel-based Nationwide Restoration team earned the Legion National Championship. 

Now, it’s another summer and another chance for a postseason run. Otto Candies (13-5-1) went 2-0 at last weekend’s Second District West playoff and has since turned its attention to the beginning of the Southeast Regional today. Otto Candies will face Jesuit-based Retif Oil at 3:30 p.m. to kickstart its effort in the double-elimination tournament.

Retif defeated Hahnville at the Mid-South Regional in 2012. The two teams finished first and second, respectively, at the state tournament that season, with Retif taking the championship.

These are different teams today. Baudry said Retif is a younger team than in the past few seasons, but still a very dangerous foe.  

“They’ve been playing very well of late,” Baudry said. “That matchup, at 3:30, is gonna be tough. It’s gonna be really hot out there. This tournament usually comes down to starting pitching, and in the first two days, naturally most teams are looking to start their best guys.”

As such, Baudry said it’ll be imperative the scoring opportunities of Retif and whoever his team’s next foe will be, as runs figure to be at a premium.

“Scores generally stay pretty low on the first two days, I’ve found,” said Baudry. “To be honest, our offensive effort hasn’t made me very happy this summer. I don’t think guys have put in the time to stay sharp on that end. We’ve been hitting better over the past week or so, and hopefully we’ll carry that over.”

One thing he is confident in, however, is his team’s pitching. Tyler Lamers and Todd Porche are his one-two punch at the top of the rotation, and Baudry feels assured of his staff’s depth as well.

“Those two give us a chance every time out,” Baudry said. “We’ve got, though, four, five, six guys who can give us some quality innings. I don’t think that’s much of a concern for us.”

There will be one adjustment for his every day lineup: Matt Fontenot, the team’s veteran catcher, is sidelined with injury. Otto Candies’ win over St. Charles Catholic-based Townsend Homes was the first game Fontenot missed this summer. 

Brad Aucoin assumes the catcher spot now. His two-run double Sunday helped lift Otto Candies past Townsend.

“Brad can definitely hit,” Baudry said. “I’m very confident with him in the lineup and in his abilities. Matt just has a wealth of experience, and that’s the big difference. But I know Brad can do the job.”

If Otto Candies defeats Retif, it is scheduled to play again at 3:30 p.m. on Sunday. A loss would slot the team to play at 9:30 a.m. Sunday.