SCC defeats Riverside; plays Saturday for state title

Published 3:10 pm Friday, May 13, 2016

SULPHUR — The St. Charles Catholic baseball team could have saved itself a little gas money this weekend, but they probably won’t be complaining.

Riverside base runner Tyler Gauthier takes a lead in Friday’s game.

Riverside base runner Tyler Gauthier takes a lead in Friday’s game.

St. Charles travelled more than 200 miles to play its cross-town rival, Riverside Academy, Friday afternoon in the state semi-finals.

After a sleep over, the Comets get to play another team located just a few miles away.

The No. 2 seed Comets beat Riverside, its rival and its District 12-2A co-champion 3-0 in Friday’s Class 2A state semifinal to advance to Saturday’s state championship game. The Comets (29-8) will face No. 1 seed St. Thomas Aquinas (30-3) of Hammond at 3 p.m. Saturday at McMurry Park in Sulphur.

Riverside, the No. 6 seed, finished the season 24-11.

It was no surprise this one came down to a duel between pitchers.

For the second time this season, St. Charles pitcher Zach Roussel knew just what to do to hold off the Rebels. The senior held Riverside to three hits, struck out four and walked none.

Mostly, he left things to his defense, which committed just one harmless error in the third inning and turned two double plays, one in the seventh inning.

With that solid defense behind him, Roussel retired the Rebels in order five times. He recorded three outs on just eight pitches in the fifth and the sixth innings.

Riverside pitcher Mason Vicknair didn’t exactly struggle. He allowed two hits, walked five, hit one and struck out four. The Rebels’ defense also committed one error, this one not so harmless.

The Comets scored all three of their runs in the third inning, spurred by a Riverside error. Nick Scioneaux led off the inning with a grounder to second base. Riverside’s Jared Hymel couldn’t scoop it and Scioneaux was safe.

He was replaced by courtesy runner Nick Lorio. Roussel then beat out a bunt, and Lloyd Nash walked to load the bases.

Dane Authement sent a fly ball to right field that allowed Lorio to score. With two outs, Justin Ory was hit by a pitch to load the bases again. Brady Newman then hit a ball to right center field, scoring Brandon Lemoine (courtesy running for Roussel) and Nash.

The Comets left a pair of runners stranded in the fifth and one in the sixth.

Riverside never really threatened. The Rebels had runners at first and second in the third inning, but Roussel struck out Vicknair to end the inning. Hymel singled in the top of the seventh but was left stranded after the Comets turned their second double play and Brandon Morris popped up to end the game. Today marks St. Charles’ sixth trip to a championship game, its first since 2009.

The Comets have never won a baseball title, however.  They were runners-up in 1998, 2004, 2007, 2008 and 2009.