Last Modified: Thursday, March 07, 2013 10:10 PM
Gunner Leger manned up when he needed to, striking out the side in the bottom of the seventh inning with the potential tying run on base in a 3-1 win over Hahnville on the opening day Thursday of the Barbe/Marucci round-robin tournament.
Leger struck out 11 while throwing a complete game. Barbe (10-2) head coach Glenn Cecchini said he was determined to have Leger finish the game despite allowing the first two batters reach base in the seventh.
“He did great, got stronger as the game went on,” Cecchini said. “I was so proud of him. It was his game to win or lose. He has had some tough-luck games where he was not able to finish, and I wanted him to finish it. It was important for his confidence. I knew he could do it. I saw him grow up today; it was exciting.”
Leger allowed one hit and one walk through the first six innings, then allowed consecutive singles to Todd Porche and Tyler Lamers to start the seventh before striking out the side.
“He got the fastball in, his changeup was really good,” Cecchini said. “They are a good team.”
Braden Comeaux delivered the big blow for Barbe, hitting a towering two-run home run to left field in the fifth inning. Nick Abshire reached on an error and scored on a Charlie Yorks single for the first Bucs run.
Hahnville (8-2) scored an unearned run in the fifth when Todd Porche singled and pinch-runner Michael Landry stole second and third and scored on a throwing error.
Hahnville starter Brooks Vial had five strikeouts while throwing a complete game.
“He was really good,” Cecchini said. “He was throwing three pitches for strikes — curveball, change and fastball in and out, which is kind of like two pitches.”
Cecchini said he likes the way his team has been playing early in the season.
“We have really been hitting, getting some good starting pitching … a typical Barbe team,” he said. “We are playing a good schedule, tough teams. All these are playoff teams, some win state championships. Nearly every game we play is like a playoff game; it is very exciting.”
Barbe opened the tournament with a 9-2 win over St. Thomas More. Bucs shortstop Kennon Thompson hit a two-run home run and Sloan Dieter threw a complete game for the Bucs.