REPLAY: Holy Cross, Barras win thriller over Jesuit while awaiting thrill of new life
METAIRIE – Any time Holy Cross and Jesuit square off in any athletic competition, it is a big deal to the oldest rivals in the New Orleans area and in one of the oldest rivalries in the state.
Simply put, it is important to a lot of people. It was a important game Thursday night but there are bigger things than baseball games.
Holy Cross alumnus and first-year head coach Aaron Barras is acutely aware of this truism. While Barras enjoyed the renewal of the rivalry with Jesuit, his anticipation and emotions were clearly split and clearly on display.
Barras’ wife, Nicole, is scheduled to give birth to twin girls Friday morning as the cycle of life continues and here is wishing the Barras family and Nicole nothing but a successful process, prayers and blessings.
He could hardly contain his emotion upon game’s end.
Back to baseball.
Jake Gegenheimer pitched out of a bases loaded jam in the ninth inning to hold off Jesuit 10-9 in an absolute thriller in a 9-5A contest at John Ryan Stadium aired live at CrescentCitySports.com.
Luca Saltaformaggio supplied the offensive punch. Saltaformaggio singled, doubled, tripled and drove in five runs against the most important opponent on the Tiger schedule as the Tigers split the two-game series. Jesuit beat Holy Cross 6-2 on Tuesday.
“I’ve always looked up to this game,” Saltaformaggio said. “I’ve had brothers that have played in this game before. I love this game so much. We battled back and had the dugout behind us the whole time. That energy really helps us in the field. I went up there with the approach to hit the other way. I just wanted to get the next guy up. This was a big game for us. I feel our team deserved this win.”
Jesuit pounced on Holy Cross starter Cole Killian in the bottom of the first inning for three runs. Everett Denny and Hunter Oufnac singled and Gates Barre’ walked to load the bases. Alex Jeansonne singled home a pair of runs before Patrick Berrigan executed a perfect squeeze bunt single, driving in Barre’ to make it 3-0.
Holy Cross answered in the top of the second as Jesuit starter Lee Bridgewater hit Ryder Planchard and Blake Chauvin and Chris Sercovich served a single to right, scoring Planchard and it was 3-1. Brody Forstall and Dom Pellegrin then walked, the latter scoring Chauvin to make it 3-2, ending Bridgewater’s night. Luca Saltformaggio singled to right-center, scoring Sercovich and Forstall to give the Tigers a 4-3 lead.
The Blue Jays came right back in the bottom of the second to tie the game on singles by Scout Hughes and Denny before Oufnac singled home Hughes to make it 4-4.
The Tigers recaptured the lead in the top of the fourth on singles by Sercovich and Forstall and a two-out, two-run double by Saltaformaggio and it was 6-4.
The Blue Jays cut the deficit to 6-5 in the bottom of the fifth on a walk to Barre’, singles by Jeansonne and Berrigan and a sacrifice fly by Michael Bourgeois.
Holy Cross opened things up in the top of the six, scoring four runs to take a 10-5 lead. Aaron Guichard and Sercovich singled before Forstall singled home Guichard. Pellegrin plated a second run with a sacrifice fly, Saltaformaggio drilled an RBI triple to right and Pierce Brodnax singled home Saltaformaggio.
Jesuit responded in the bottom of the sixth as Hughes singled and Denny walked. Oufnac drove in Hughes with a double to left to make it 10-6. A wild pitch then scored two runs to make it 10-8 as Oufnac and pinch-runner Brandon Thomas scored.
The Blue Jays rallied in the bottom of the seven as Brothers singled and Hughes was hit by a pitch. Denny drew a walk to load the bases with one out. Tulane commit William Good delivered Brothers with a sacrifice fly to make it 10-9. Denny stole second and Gegenheimer intentionally walked Oufnac to load the bases. Gegenheimer got freshman Derek Delatte to pop out to second to end the game to secure a huge victory.
“What a great ball game,” Barras said. “Both sides competed. Both teams just kept going back and forth. Both lineups really stayed aggressive. They had a big hit, we had a big hit, it seemed like it was never going to end. Luckily, we got those last couple of outs. I have every ounce of faith in our boys. It feels really good to get that one.”
Sercovich had three hits, scored twice and drove in a run for the Tigers. Oufnac had three hits, a walk, scored twice and drove in two runs for the Blue Jays while Jeansonne had had there hits and two RBI. Each team used four pitchers. Trace Thomas picked up the win, going four innings, allowing four runs on seven hits in relief of Killian. Jay Distler followed Thomas before giving way to Gegenheimer.
Barre’ took the loss in relief of Bridgewater, going four and two-third innings, allowing six runs on nine hits. Bryce Pitts followed before Jack Ainsworth finished up for Jesuit.
Both teams return to District 9-5A play Saturday. Holy Cross (10-9-1, 3-1) opens a two-game series against Archbishop Rummel at noon at Mike Miley Stadium. Jesuit (14-4, 2-2) opens a two-game league series with Karr at 1 p.m. at John Ryan Stadium.
Barras put things in perspective after reflecting on the euphoria of the win and reflecting on Nicole in the hospital waiting for the miracle of life to emerge.
“We’re having two little girls tomorrow,” Barras said. “What a way to go into that. I know my wife was watching. I’m super excited.”
Barras then departed for the hospital to be with Nicole.
There are more important things than baseball games, even a game of this importance but it was a fun game to be part of.
Holy Cross 040 204 0 — 10 10 3, 6 LOB
Jesuit 310 013 1 — 9 13 1, 10 LOB
Time of Game: 2:58
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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…