Jesuit Baseball Wins Tournament Opener
The Jesuit Baseball Invitational has brought some of the best teams from around the state since 2012, and the 2021 tournament is no different. With teams such as Catholic of Baton Rouge, Belle Chasse, Hammond, Rummel, Shaw, East Ascension, and Jesuit, the field is abundant with talent.
The Blue Jays (7-0) debuted in the tournament against a talented Belle Chasse ball club and gave up two runs in the first inning, but would go on to win 6-2 at John Ryan Stadium.
Senior Sean Cashman started on the bump and struggled with the first three outs of the night. After an infield single, double, and an error by the usually sure handed senior third baseman Giovanni Licciardi, Jesuit found themselves quickly down 2-0.
After the first, Cashman was masterful. He constantly kept Cardinal hitters off balance by changing eye level and changing speeds. At the end of the day, he hurled 11 strikeouts and went the full seven innings to keep Belle Chasse at bay.
The usually explosive Blue Jay bats took two innings to get going. In the bottom of the third, Licciardi led off with walk, and senior Zack Casebonne delivered a single shortly after. Head coach Kenny Goodlett called a successful double steal, and junior Luke Brandau did his job by grounding out to score the runner from third.
Casebonne scored on a wild pitch to the next batter, and the game was suddenly tied going into the fourth. Cashman kept it that way by striking out two in the fourth. The Cardinals would not be able to find offensive purchase for the rest of the night.
Jesuit would finally take the lead in the bottom of the fourth after a tremendous bunt by senior Hayden Morris moved the runner over, and a Belle Chasse miscommunication resulted in a a Blue Jay runner advancing two bases on a caught pop fly.
Jesuit would tack on insurance in the fifth and sixth innings with junior Holden Hess hitting a deep RBI double, and senior Tripp Haddad hitting a two RBI triple to extend the lead to 6-2.
The defense also showed its prowess throughout the night with a diving catch from Terry in right field in the third, Casebonne rifeling down a base stealer in the fifth, and short stop Loupe making a difficult backhand in the hole look easy in the sixth. When this team is firing, it is truly fun to watch.
The Jesuit invitational continues with games on Friday and Saturday. Jesuit is slated to play Hammond on Friday at 6:30 p.m. at John Ryan Stadium and Catholic of Baton Rouge on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. at John Ryan Stadium.