Vandy’s vengeance: Terriers score twice in seventh, beat Saints 3-1

Published 10:07 am Thursday, May 12, 2022

No. 3 Vandebilt Catholic avenged last year’s los to No. 2 St. Louis Catholic, ending the Saints’ bid to repeat as Division II state champions with a 3-1 win at McNeese State’s Joe Miller Ballpark.

The Terriers (32-7) scored a pair of runs in the top of the seventh inning.

Jean-Luc Lupryere reached on a bunt single with one out, moved to second on a fielder’s choice grounder and scored on Dominc Archila’s single to right field.

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Eli David followed with a drive to left-center field wall to score Archila.

Vandebilt Catholic jumped ahead early, scoring a run in the top of the first when leadoff hitter Jean-Luc Lapryere doubled and scored on a throwing error.

St. Louis (27-13) tied the score in the second inning. Ryan Baron led off with a single, advanced to third on a ball and hit by Kennedy Leggett and scored on a squeeze bunt by KeMonni Pullard.

Terriers starting pitcher Owen Schexnaydre, an LSU-Eunice signee, was dominant, allowing three hits and striking out seven. The last Saints hit came in the third inning and 12 batters went to the plate in the final four innings. A pickoff erased the lone batter to reach base.

Lapruyere went 2-for-4 to lead Vandebilt Catholic. Jake LaRocca, Leggett, Baron and Reid Snider each had a hit for St. Louis.

“I think this was the state championship. I think their guy is the best pitcher in the state and our guys (Luke Courville) is second-best on our level,” Saints head coach Matt Fontenot said. “It was a great game. That’s baseball. We got them last year and they beat us this year. Anytime you play a team coached by Chad Menard you know they are going to be good.

“I’ve enjoyed the resiliency of this group, going back to 2020 when we had the season shut down and then six months later a hurricane that disrupted our whole school. What they have endured and shown they can endure excites me about what they are going to do in life.”

Vandebilt Catholic will play No. 8 University in the state championship game at 7 p.m. Friday in Hammond. University advanced with a 7-5 win over No. 4 Parkview Baptist in the other semifinal.

St. Louis had won 16 of 18 entering the game, including all four playoff games.