Jays Handle Purple Knights, 4-2, for Third Consecutive District Win
On the Mound, Jesuit’s Richard Oubre Almost Perfect
After four consecutive games decided by one lone run (Jesuit won three and lost one), the Blue Jays nailed down a two-run victory by polishing off St. Augustine, 4-2, on Friday at John Ryan Stadium.
A two-run win hardly indicates an offensive onslaught as those scrappy Jays battled for their four runs on just four hits.
Once again, the colonel on the mound kept the Jays’ heads above water. Senior right-hander Richard Oubre pitched a full seven innings and had a perfect game going through the first five. In the sixth inning, Oubre issued his only walk, gave up a single — St. Aug’s only hit in the game — and tossed a wild pitch. Suddenly a 4-0 lead the Jays were sitting on became an uncomfortable 4-2 game.
But Oubre stayed on the mound and 75 minutes after the first pitch (it was a fast game), the Jays sealed the win, their third in a row and one that improves the team’s district record to 6-4. Overall, the Jays are 20-8 (19-7 for power point rating).
Jesuit returns to John Ryan Stadium on Saturday, April 16, for a non-district game against St. Thomas Aquinas of Hammond. First pitch is high noon, but prior to the game, senior Blue Jays on the 2016 varsity team will be recognized along with their parents.
Oubre, who struck out seven Purple Knights, improved his mound record to 5-2. Not bad for his first year on the varsity squad.
“It’s a big win,” Oubre said. “Any momentum we can get going for the playoffs is good. I was just trying to throw strikes and let my defense play behind me.”
Oubre said he wasn’t even thinking about pitching perfect. “I’m just trying to do my best every time I get on the mound,” he said.
When a reporter mentioned to Coach Joey Latino that Oubre had a perfect game going until the sixth, he acknowledged with a wry smile: “Yeah, I actually even thought about it and I shouldn’t have even thought about it, and I didn’t say anything when I thought about it. Oubre did a nice job. He keeps the ball down. He’s particularly effective on the outer half. Like I told the guys, ‘your
pitcher is having that type of day, you’re up by four runs, and it looks like it’s over but clearly it wasn’t. They’re one batter away from putting the tying run on in the seventh inning. So we’ve got to do a better job when we get the lead to extend it, put a little bit more distance between you and the other team, and make things a little easier on yourself.’”
Coach Latino said the key to the win over St. Aug was that Oubre kept the Purple Knights at bay for the first five innings. “Once we were able to get the four-run lead, he settled in a little bit. I give St. Aug a tremendous amount of credit, there’s no quit in them, their coaches do a great job, and they just kept coming after us for seven innings. And that’s what you’re supposed to do.”
Jesuit shortstop Nick Ray had a lead-off double in the opening inning and ended up scoring the first run on a sacrifice fly by designated hitter Marc Theberge, but the Jays’ offense continues having trouble putting the ball in play. Besides Ray’s double, right-fielder Connor Maginnis singled in the second inning, but was left on base. In the third inning, the Jays harvested three more runs to take a 4-0 lead. Ray drew a walk, Theberge was given first base after being plunked, second baseman Brandon Briuglio doubled, scoring Ray, outfielder Mark Beebe executed a squeeze bunt that plated Theberge, and third baseman Hayden Fuentes singled, scoring Briuglio.
“We’re struggling right now getting the explosive hit, that’s what we’re struggling with,” Coach Latino explained. “We’re getting men on second and third with no outs and we’re not hitting the double. We’re hitting the ground ball and scoring a run which is good, but we need the explosive hits, and we’re not getting those right now. And look, these are kids, let’s not forget that. They’re thinking about it a lot and once you start thinking about it, overthinking it, you start putting a little bit too much pressure on yourself. I think we need to relax a little bit and just let ourselves be athletes.”
NOTE: Jesuit has two district games remaining on its schedule. On Tuesday, April 19, the Jays host John Curtis at 7 p.m. The game will be streamed live on SportsNola.com and televised on a delayed basis by WHNO-TV20. Set your DVRs to record the game when WHNO airs it the following day, Wednesday, April 20, at 5 p.m. Veteran sportscaster Kenny Trahan and Jesuit alumnus Danny Riehm ’02 will handle the broadcast duties.
On Thursday, April 21, Jesuit crosses the river to the West Bank to play Archbishop Shaw at 6:30 p.m. The game takes place on Shaw’s baseball field.
The New Orleans Advocate: Richard Oubre nearly perfect as Jesuit tops St. Augustine