Eighth-seeded University High took the underdog’s role and ran all the way to the title game. This time, Vandebilt Catholic limited the Cubs’ options.
There was no where to run or hide as the third-seeded Terriers scored nine runs over the final two innings to claim a 12-2 six-inning victory U-High in the Division II final played Sunday night at Southeastern Louisiana in Hammond.
The Division II victory wrapped up the second day of the LHSAA select baseball tournament. It also gave Vandebilt (32-7) its first baseball title in 51 years, nine months after the Houma area was devastated by Hurricane Ida.
“Nobody had us here last year at this time,” U-High coach Justin Morgan said. “We had two starters coming back. What they were able to accomplish over the last three weeks was unbelievable. It was awesome to be a part of it as a coach.
“The game spun out of control in the fifth inning. We knew who we were playing. Credit Hudson Ewing. He came out and threw strikes and gave us a chance. But the fifth inning was the third time through their order, and that was tough.”
Title-game MVP Owen Schexnaydre led the Terriers. Schexnaydre allowed just three hits. He also finished 4 for 4 with two RBIs as the Terriers pounded out 15 hits.
“We just got a little momentum there at the end,” Vandebilt coach Chad Menard said. “The offense … we felt it was coming and in the fifth and sixth we really secured it. This is just an amazing experience. We are thankful and blessed to be a part of it.”
Schexnaydre added, “This was a business trip. We’ve prepared for this moment for the last five years.”
The Terriers took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first. Leadoff batter Jean-Luc Lapeyre was hit by a pitch, took second on a groundout and went to third on a wild pitch. He scored on Eli David’s single.
But the Cubs bounced back and took the lead in the top of the second. Joe Haindel and Wils Melton both walked. Cass Greene’s single scored pinch runner Tommy Greene. Courtesy runner Devin Alario took second on Cass Greene’s single and advanced to third on an error. Alario scored on Tyler Smith’s sacrifice bunt to the right side.
Vandebilt regained the lead in the third. Diego Achila led off with a single, was sacrificed to second and scored on Landon Rogers’ double. Rogers scored the go-ahead run on a single by Dominic Achila.
The Cubs (22-14) got two runners on only once after the second inning against Schexnaydre. The VCHS pitcher allowed just one hit over the final four innings.
Vandebilt scored five runs on four hits in the fifth and sent 11 players to the plate. Schexnaydre’s RBI double was a key part of the fifth inning. David, who finished with three hits, singled to open the fourth-run sixth.
“The teamwork and the trust we had in each other is what took us this far,” UHS’ Cass Greene said. “We had nothing to lose.”