Destrehan needed to sweep two games on Saturday in Lake Charles to advance to the state tournament and the Class 5A semifinals but it was not meant to be as the Wildcats were blanked 4-0 by Sam Houston in Game 2 of the quarterfinal series.
The Wildcats, the No. 10 seed, lost 8-5 on Friday to put Destrehan in a must-win situation on Saturday.
While Destrehan (24-11) was unable to score, the second-seeded Broncos (36-4) managed to bang out 12 hits.
The Wildcats had several opportunities to score in the game but were unable to push any runs across.
“We had three or four innings when we had guys in scoring position with less than two outs, we just couldn’t get the hit when we needed it,” Destrehan coach Chris Mire said. “We couldn’t get a bunt down at one point. We had a leadoff double and couldn’t even get him to third.
“They were a quality team and their pitching was tough and they limited our opportunities that when we did get one, it was like a must-have situation. When you are in a position like there where you feel every time you have an opportunity, you have to get the job done, it becomes difficult.”
A two-run double by Michael Harlow staked Sam Houston to a 2-0 lead in the first inning of the game in which Destrehan was the designated home team.
The only other runs in the game came on a run-scoring single by Silas Ardoin in the sixth inning and when Austin Norris scored on a wild pitch in the seventh.
Bartley picked up the win for Sam Houston, allowing five hits and five strikeouts. Of the five hits he allowed, three were doubles by T.J. Thomas, Avery Schexnaydre and Dustin Weber.
Thomas suffered the loss, allowing four runs on 12 hits while striking out four.
Mire reflected on the Wildcats’ season.
“There was a lot of disappointment surrounding our program after our playoff loss last year. Beginning this summer with summer baseball, we just wanted to take a different approach and we challenged these guys to put their teammates first and play for one another. We knew we didn’t have the most talented group as far as baseball skills but they were such quality kids, they took it and ran with it.
“I told them, ‘you weren’t the team that was supposed to get us here by any stretch of the imagination, ya’ll weren’t supposed to be the ones that got this done,’ but to their credit, that’s the type of kids they are. They competed and kept working and there we were with a chance to go to the state tournament.”
Game 1: Unlike Game 2, the Wildcats produced five runs but it wasn’t enough in Destrehan’s 8-5 loss.
“We thought our challenge going in was going to be was to find some offense and in that first game, we score 5. We look back at that game and looking at the defensive mistakes and the opportunities were there and we came up a bit short,” Mire said.
Destrehan took a 2-0 lead before the Broncos rallied.
The Wildcats scored in the first inning when Dylan Weber was hit by a pitch from Cameron Meeks to force in a run.
Destrehan extended its advantage to 2-0 when Ahman Morris led off the third inning with a home run.
Sam Houston tied the game in the bottom of the third inning.
A run-scoring double by Meeks produced the first run of the game for the Broncos. Meeks scored on a ground ball hit by Bartley to tie the game.
The Broncos eventually built their lead to 8-2. Big blows for Sam Houston included a run-scoring triple by Braden Duhon and a solo home run by Meeks.
Destrehan added three runs in the seventh inning for the 8-5 final.
Meeks picked up the win for the Broncos, allowing two earned runs on four hits and three walks while striking out eight.
Josh MacCord suffered the loss. He worked four innings, allowing three earned runs on five hits and one walk.
Morris led Destrehan at the plate, going 2 for 4 while driving in four runs.