Candies best Peake to stay alive at state

Published 12:45 am Wednesday, July 23, 2014


NEW ORLEANS —  Otto Candies right-hander Todd Porche wasn’t satisfied with his pitching performance at the American Legion Southeast Regional earlier this month and all but guaranteed Candies’ coach David Baudry that he’d atone for it.

You might say he did exactly that.

Hahnville-based Otto Candies scored two first inning runs Monday and that proved plenty enough for Porche, who struck out 10 and allowed just four hits in a 2-0 complete game shutout performance of Brother Martin-based Peake BMW in an American Legion State Tournament elimination game. 

“It started and ended with Todd,” Baudry said. “When I told him last night he’d be starting, he said, ‘I’m going the complete game.’ He didn’t say he’d pitch a shutout, but I’m glad he did.”

After falling to Retif Oil on Saturday, Otto Candies won Sunday over the St. Landry Bank Indians and again Monday to stay alive in the double-elimination tournament. 

The team was scheduled to face Shaw-based Refuel Tuesday, after press time. Refuel was the last remaining undefeated team at the tourney, and an Otto Candies win there would give it a chance to play on the tourney’s final day and potentially for the state crown.   

“Our guys were a little down on themselves after losing Saturday,” Baudry said. “We still feel like we’re one of the best teams in the tournament. I think we’ve come on real strong since then.”

Porche retired 14 straight batters at one point and 17 of the final 18 batters he faced. He walked two and hit one batter.

“I actually felt dead tired,” Porche said. “The sun was beating down. I was just trying to get my pitches over for strikes … Going the whole way was very important. We played with a lot of confidence today and strung together 10 hits.”

Candies scored both of the game’s runs in the top of the first inning after Waylon LeBlanc and Peyton Roberts led off the game with infield singles. Porche advanced them over on a ground ball, setting up back-to-back RBI singles by Tyler Lamers and Mark Abate.

From there, Candies put plenty of runners on against Peake, collecting 11 hits and drawing four walks, but Peake starter Jarret Gongora and reliever Andrew Larmeu were able to stave off any damage for the day’s remainder.

“We needed one more hit to be in any kind of position to relax a little,” Baudry said. “But Gongora’s a competitor and that’s an outstanding team over there.”

Porche was locked in, however, and threw perfect innings from the fifth through the eighth.

“I’m ecstatic,” he said. “We want to make it as far as we can and win a state championship for Hahnville.”

Otto Candies has had to fight through the loser’s bracket after dropping its opener to Jesuit-based Retif Saturday, 7-3 at Jesuit’s John Ryan Field. Lamers took the loss for Otto Candies. Trent Forshag collected two RBIs for Jesuit. Retif scored three sixth inning runs to break open what was a 4-3 advantage. 

Candies had no such struggles against St. Landry Bank, scorimg six first inning runs en route to a 13-5 victory.

The game endured three weather delays. 

Waylon LeBlanc collected two first inning hits, the second a two-run single.