De La Salle wins longest baseball game in Louisiana high school history to take district title
De La Salle and the Willow School started their baseball game at 4 p.m. Thursday at Avenger Field. With Daylight Saving Time in effect, it seemed safe to assume the facility’s lights would likely not be needed.
At 10:30 p.m., the lights were worn out from usage.
So were the players and coaches.
The game ended, 6½ hours after the start, with De La Salle winning 2-1 in 22 innings over The Willow School to win the District 9-4A championship.
According to the National Federation of High Schools record book, it is the longest game, by number of innings, in Louisiana prep baseball history.
“We got to the ballpark at 2:45 p.m.,” De La Salle coach Michael Scanlon said. “I told my wife I should be home a little early for a change. I live on the north shore. I thought I would be home around 7:45 or so. We were just getting started then. I texted here to let her know I would be a little later than expected.”
De La Salle scored a run in the second inning and the Lions scored in the fourth inning. Eighteen innings later, it was over after the Cavaliers scored in the top of the 22nd inning and then retired Willow in the bottom of the inning.
In the top of the 22nd, senior Josh Scott doubled off the left field wall and Noah Arevalo produced the big hit, a 2-out RBI single to provide the margin of difference. Arevalo had three hits on the evening.
Sophomore Alton Shorts got the win.
Matt Bedi started for the Cavaliers and pitched four innings before Zack Brisset pitched seven and a third scoreless innings. Jackson Peri then pitched eight and two-third scoreless innings. Shorts pitched the final two innings.
In the second Dylan Brossette reached on a single, advanced to third, Jackson Perry drove him home on a groundout to give the Cavaliers a 1-0 lead.
The Willow School scored its run in the fourth inning on a single by Ray Busch and an error in right field, allowing Keiffer Ary to score from first base.
According to NFHS records, it is not only the longest game in Louisiana prep baseball history but the seventh longest in United States prep baseball history.
Coincidentally, on April 13, 2012 – 11 years ago to the day – Jesuit and Archbishop Rummel played an 18-inning game at John Ryan Stadium, a little over a month after that ballpark opened. Coincidentally, that game ended with 2-1 score as well with the Blue Jays prevailing.
The game was broadcast live on our website, then known as SportsNOLA.com.
Willow School coach Alexander Merkley recognized the length and significance of the game.
“I’ve never been a part of anything like that,” Merkley said.” I think 10 or 11 innings is the longest I’ve been part of.”
The Willow School used four pitchers.
Enrique Herazo started, going eight innings, allowing just an unearned run. Jake Guichet followed and pitched five coreless innings. Carter Ptak went seven shutout innings before Elliot Melita-Duncan went the final two innings, taking the loss.
Both teams had several chances to score and end the game earlier but could not produce the big hit and pitchers for both teams and good defense prevented both sides from doing so.
“I was overwhelmingly happy with the effort,” Merkley said. “We competed at a very high level. We made plays we don’t normally make. Bedi singled in the 18th inning and Perazo field it cleanly and threw out G. Kimble at the plate on a tremendous throw.”
Both sides were worn out by game’s end.
“At the end, we had a celebration but we also were relieved,” Scanlon said. “I don’t think they realized the magnitude of the game and what happened but it will in years to come. The most important thing for these guys is that we clinched our third straight district title. I am super proud of them.”
Merkley had a very positive message for his players after the game.
“I told the kids I was extremely happy with them. We missed some opportunities. So did they. I told them if we play like we just played for 22 innings, we likely would have won any game we had lost this year. We have so much potential and we have talent. We can grow from this. We are taking a positive out of it.”
De La Salle is unofficially ranked 10th in the Select Division II power rankings while The Willow School is No. 14, so both schools are in line to host in the opening round of the playoffs next week.
The Willow School (14-11, 2-3) returns to action Saturday against Bonnabel at 10 a.m. at Brees Family Field.
“We ran out of water in the sixth inning,” Merkley said. “We were all real thirsty and hungry. We went home and I think everyone ate. We canceled practice today, by the way.”
De La Salle (15-10, 5-0) returns to action Saturday at 1 p.m. at Holy Cross.
“The kids should be recovered by then but you might have to come in and throw for us,” Scanlon joked.
Longest High School Baseball Games–(by innings)
(source: NFHS Record Book)
25 – Hayward vs. San Lorenzo, California, 1975
25 – Kamehameha vs. McKinley, Hawaii, 1967
24 – Evergreen Park vs. Norridge Ridgewood, Illinois, 2004
24 – Miami vs. Hialeah, Florida, 1970
23 – Downers Grove North vs. Elmhurst York, Illinois, 1995
23 – Pomona College vs. Fullerton, California, 1926
22 – De La Salle vs. The Willow School, Louisiana, 2023
22 – Traverse City West vs. Ludington, Michigan, 2005
22 – Madisonville North Hopkins vs. Lafayette, Kentucky, 1970
21 – Overland Park Blue Valley Northwest vs. Shawnee Mission North, Kansas, 1997
21 – Mt. Olive vs. Staunton, Illinois, 1973
21 – McLane vs. Fresno, California, 1967
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Born and raised in the New Orleans area, CCSE CEO Ken Trahan has been a sports media fixture in the community for nearly four decades. Ken started NewOrleans.com/Sports with Bill Hammack and Don Jones in 2008. In 2011, the site became SportsNOLA.com. On August 1, 2017, Ken helped launch CrescentCitySports.com. Having accumulated national awards/recognition (National Sports Media Association, National Football…