St. Charles Catholic is headed to the state tournament and the Comets can thank stellar pitching for it.
After dropping the first game of a three-game quarterfinal series to Teurlings Catholic on Friday, the Comets needed to sweep two games from the three-time defending champions Sunday afternoon in Lafayette to advance to the state semifinals.
The Comets got top-notch pitching in all three games, going back to Friday’s opener in which the only run allowed by SCC starter Kaile Levatino came on a single against a draw-in infield in the sixth inning of a 1-0 St. Charles loss.
St. Charles got mound gems from Nick Lorio in a 2-1 Game 2 victory and Caleb St. Martin in a 3-2 triumph in Game 3 to send the Comets to Sulphur.
“We couldn’t have gotten better pitching. It may have been the best pitching in St. Charles history over a weekend,” Comets coach Wayne Stein said. “The way Levatino threw and then Lorio gave up three hits and Caleb St. Martin threw a complete-game five-hitter. Really, that’s as good as it gets. We played 20 innings of baseball and I used three pitchers.”
By knocking off the three-time defending Division II state champions – a team that defeated St. Charles in a three-game series in the quarterfinals a year ago – the Comets advance to take on St. Thomas More at 7 p.m. Thursday in Sulphur.
“We were all excited after the win, but after all was said and done, this is where we expected to be. We have 11 seniors and returned five of six pitchers. We are not just trying to go to Sulphur on a field trip,” said Stein.
The Comets got all the runs they would need in the decisive third game in the top of the fourth inning.
Eli Ory got things started with a base hit and Joe Chiarella walked. St. Martin bunted them over to second and third with one out and pinch-hitter Jason Bosco walked to load the bases.
T.J. Lasseigne was hit by a pitch to force in the first run of the game. Peyton Broussard followed with a single to make it 2-0.
Teurlings got its only run of the game in the bottom half of the fourth inning on a sacrifice fly by Lejeune.
St. Martin picked up the win, allowing one run on five hits and one walk while striking out four in going the distance.
Broussard was one of four batters to collect hits for the Comets in Game 3. Broussard and Lorio each were 1 for 4 in the game. Chiarella was 1 for 2 and Ory 1 for 3.
Ben Tate, who worked 3.1 innings, suffered the loss for Teurlings. He allowed two runs on four hits and three walks while striking out four.
Landon Trosclair and Connor Dickinson each had two hits for the Rebels while Dain Turner was 1 for 4.
Chiarella delivered the game-winning blow in Game 2.
St. Charles led 2-0 before Teurlings tied the game in top of the seventh inning on a two-run home run by Tate.
With the Comets batting in the bottom of the seventh as the designated home team for Game 2, Lorio doubled with one out and Ory was hit by a pitch before Chiarella followed with a single to left field to score Lorio with the game-winning run.
“We didn’t flinch whenever we gave up the lead,” said Stein.
St. Charles took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the fifth on a run-scoring double by Robby Gilbert.
In the bottom of the sixth, St. Martin reached base and was replaced by courtesy runner Kendall Harris. After Harris advanced to second on a wild pitch, he scored on a single up the middle by Lasseigne.
Lasseigne and Chiarella each collected two hits in the game. Bosco was 1 for 2 while Gilbert, Lorio and Levatino were all 1 for 4.
Turner, Tate and Braxon Gallet each had a hit for Teurlings.
Lorio picked up the win, allowing two runs on three hits while walking one and striking out four in going the distance.
Gallet worked the first six innings of the game for Teurlings, allowing two runs, one of which was earned, on six hits and three walks, while striking out three.
Reid Godchaux allowed one run on two hits in one-third of an inning.