SULPHUR — St. Charles Catholic got the bats going the second time through the order, blitzing University High in the third inning en route to a 7-4 win Tuesday afternoon in the Division II state championship game.
The Comets (32-8) scored six runs in the third inning when seven straight batters reached base.
Nine-hole hitter T.J. Lasseigne started the rally with a one-out walk, moved to second on a wild pitch and scored on a single to left by Peyton Broussard. Kaile Levatino hit a ground-rule double down the left field line. Roddy Gilbert hit a line drive to right that eluded the grasp of the University right fielder and rolled to the wall for a two-run triple to make the score 3-0.
Nick Lorio added an RBI single followed by an Ely Ory hit and fielder’s choice grounder to score a run by Joe Chiarella. Caleb St. Martin delivered an RBI double to make it 6-0.
Seven of the eight Comets seeing University starter Lance Wade for the second time either reached base or drove in a run in the inning.
The onslaught continued in the fourth inning when Broussard reached on a walk and scored on single to center by Gilbert.
University (30-8) picked up single runs in the fifth and sixth innings on RBI hits by Brock Slaton and Aleksander Popov. The Cubs made things interesting in the seventh, scoring two runs on a RBI fielder’s choice by Reid Segar and an RBI single by Christian Scherer. A single by Wade brought the tying run to the plate with two outs, but Lorio forced a tapper back to the mound to end the game.
Gilbert was named Most Valuable Player after getting three hits and driving in three runs.
“It means the world, we have been working toward this for four years,” Gilbert said. “This group of seniors have always been like a family. We talked about winning a championship. It came down to the final batter, but we did it.”
The Comets, seeded sixth, beat each of the top three seeds.
“Our kids deserved to be here, they had a lot of confidence,” St. Charles coach head Wayne Stein said. “We took down the giants in Teurlings Catholic and St. Thomas More, then University. We got the big inning, that is what we preach, get the three run inning. We don’t like to bunt and give up outs. I’m proud of our guys. There was a lot of talk, they read the paper, about the seven runner-up finishes. That had nothing to do with us, this was 2019 and we wanted to make history. That is what we did.”