It really doesn’t matter to St. Charles Catholic coach Wayne Stein that St. Thomas More, the Comets’ opponent in the Division II semifinals has five left-handed hitters in its lineup.
“It’s different, but for us, we don’t have a lefty to throw at them except for a couple of relievers. It’s not like you are making a decision playing matchup. You just have to attack them a little bit differently and put your kids in position to get some outs,” Stein said.
The Comets (30-8) advanced to the state tournament in Sulphur by knocking out Teurlings Catholic in the quarterfinals. SCC, the No. 6 seed, lost the opening game of the best-of-three series before winning the final two to move on.
St. Thomas More (30-6) advanced by eliminating E.D. White. The Cougars, the No. 2 seed, followed the Comets’ path to the semifinals. St. Thomas More lost the opener of its series against E.D. White before winning the final two 5-4 and 8-4 to advance.
At one point in the season, the Cougars were 5-6 before winning 20 straight. The Game 1 loss to E.D. White ended the streak before St. Thomas More rebounded to win the final two of the series.
In the Cougars’ Game 3 win over E.D. White, Andrew Guidry hit a grand slam while Josh Stevenson, the brother of former LSU and current Washington Nationals player, Andrew Stevenson, had three hits and drove in a run.
The Cougars may be even more formidable on the mound, starting with Andrew McDaniel, a hard-throwing right-hander who is an Ole Miss commitment.
“He can throw four pitches, 88-92 mph. He has a real good curveball and slider, plus a changeup. He’s a force to be reckoned with,” said Stein.
St. Thomas More also has Grant St. Cyr, another right-hander at its disposal. The Cougars also boasts left-hander Stephen Moody.
With those kind of arms, Stein said his team needs to take advantage of every scoring opportunity that might present itself.
“If we get an opportunity to score, we have to capitalize,” the St. Charles coach said. “You can’t come up empty.
“You hope you give yourself a chance to be in it in the money innings in the sixth and seventh, and whatever it takes to get it done at that point.”
With no left-handed starters on the mound, the Comets will play matchup of a different sort, according to Stein.
“If we feel like Kaile Levatino or Caleb St. Martin is the better matchup against St. Thomas More, than we would go with him,” said Stein.
There also will be no holding back for the Comets.
“I’ve always been one of those people that you don’t save somebody for a championship. I don’t think you can win a championship until you are there. You can’t win it, if you are not in the game. We will not hold anybody. We will just compete at the highest level possible and we will do whatever we have to to advance,” Stein said.