SCC prepares to ‘white out the Pios’ during semifinal game

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 11, 2022

LAPLACE — Comets fans are asked to wear white as St. Charles Catholic hosts Notre Dame at 4:30 p.m. Thursday in the LHSAA Division III baseball semifinals.

Notre Dame pulled away from St. Charles Catholic to win last year’s state title. The Pios are a familiar opponent, and SCC Coach Wayne Stein said the semifinals will be an evenly matched game.

“They are aggressive and athletic. So are we. They don’t have a one-man pitching staff. They have three or four guys that they match up against opponents; we’re very similar in that regard. They can hit. They can run. They can bunt,” Stein said. “Our styles are similar. I think our schools are very similar. At the end of the day, we respect each other, and it should be a hard-fought, intense game.”

The Comets forged a path to the semifinals after earning two wins last week in a best-of-three quarterfinal series against Newman.

Game one ended in a 10-0 shutout with runs batted in from Ryan Laiche, Ayden Authement and Jackson Monica. Brady St. Pierre was the winning pitcher, striking out six across five innings.

Newman returned with a vengeance on Saturday, but the Comets still landed on top, 3-2.

Pitcher Michael Hotard strategically threw 110 pitches and relied on the Comets’ strong defense to keep the Greenies from rounding the bases.

“In a series, whoever wins game two often wins. It’s hard to pick yourself off the carpet. We told our kids Newman was going to come out and they weren’t going to roll over. That’s exactly what they did. They competed like we knew they would, and I’m proud my kids were able to get it done,” Stein said.

After Newman managed a one-point lead in the third inning, the Comets tied it up in the fourth. A single from Jackson Monica in the fifth inning brought Ian Arnett home, allowing St. Charles Catholic to snatch a 3-2 lead.

Kade Edmonds also had a run batted in, while Brayden Bertucci went 2-2 at bat.

Ranked No. 2 in Division III, St. Charles Catholic will now face No. 3 Notre Dame for a chance to advance to the state championship game scheduled for 3 p.m. Saturday at the Pat Kelly Diamond Alumni Field in Hammond.

This year, the select schools opted to pull away from Sulphur and keep the state tournament in Southeast Louisiana. Stein looks forward to the opportunity to compete in the semifinals at home with the support of the Comet family.

Tickets to Thursday’s semifinal game are $12 and can be purchased online at www.stcharlescatholic.org/Domain/153