SCC baseball gets back to work

Published 7:59 am Wednesday, March 9, 2016

LAPLACE — St. Charles Catholic coach Wayne Stein is a man with a plan.

While he had his Comets endure a five-hour bus ride to and from north Louisiana for a series of baseball games in 40 degree temperatures last weekend, he wasn’t just working on his team’s win-loss record. He also was preparing his players for what might be should they make it to the annual state tournament in Sulphur.

“Just like anybody else, if we’re going to make a run, you’re going to have to stay in a hotel one day,” Stein said. “You have to be able to turn around and play another game right after. So really, we use it to kind of prepare them. This is how it’s going to be if we’re going to make it.”

Stein says it was a successful business trip to Monroe to compete in the Trey Altick Prep Classic Tournament, a three-day event which hosts 58 teams from across the state. The Comets went 3-1 with wins over West Ouachita (8-6), Neville (9-7) and Sterlington (7-1) and one loss to Eunice (4-3). That had the team 5-3 heading into this week.

“We might have won one or two we didn’t deserve to win and lost one or two that we shouldn’t have lost, but that’s baseball,” Stein said. “We got good pitching performances. We played average defense by our standards. We swung the bats OK. We haven’t gotten the big hits to break some games open, and that was kind of the deciding factor a couple of times. I like to divide the season up into games of 10 and try to go 8-2 or 7-3. We’re always going to be a team that peaks in April, so I’m not going to worry about what’s going on early.”

Stein has had to have a plan this season as he continues to regroup and rebuild after a tornado clipped his baseball field while doing much damage to LaPlace on Feb. 23. The dented scoreboard is back up and functional (and will be replaced eventually), but the left and center field fences are gone. They have been replaced with temporary chain link fences.

“It didn’t slow us down too much,” Stein said. “We had a lot of help getting us back. It’s a little different (the fences), but our kids are very resilient with that, getting back to work. You kind of got to weather the storm.”

Weather permitting, St. Charles will play East Jefferson at 5:15 p.m. Thursday in the Chalmette Invitational.

The remaining St. John the Baptist Parish baseball teams have struggled early. All teams saw their first week of games canceled due to rain, then all schools lost several days of classes due to the tornado.

Riverside Academy was 3-5 heading into this week following an 8-4 win over Newman on Saturday. The Rebels have been shut out three times, however, by Rummel (2-0), Chalmette (5-0) and Jesuit (13-0). Their wins have come against Runnels (4-1), Lakeshore (5-2) and Newman.

East St. John was 3-5 heading into the week, coming off an 11-4 loss to Bastrop. The Wildcats were outscored 30-7 in weekend tournament play.

They lost to E.D. White 5-3 on Monday.

West St. John got a late start due to the weather and the cancellation of classes and were 3-1 heading into the week.

The Rams’ lone victory came March 1 against Donaldsonville, 7-4.