REPLAY: Kade Anderson brilliant as St. Paul’s blanks Holy Cross in playoff series opener
New Orleans – When you cannot put the ball in play, you have little or no chance to win, barring a pitcher being wild.
LSU commit Kade Anderson was wild to be certain; wildly effective, that is, while also efficient and excellent Thursday night at Tiger Park.
For the second time this year, the brilliant sophomore left-hander shut out Holy Cross.
This time around, Anderson was phenomenal, pitching a two-hitter, striking out 17 of the 21 outs recorded in a 4-0 victory in the opening game of the best-of-three regional round Division I series.
Back on March 19, Anderson pitched a complete game four-hitter, walking two and striking out six in a 6-0 win over the Tigers at Heap Field in Covington.
In two games, the numbers are eye opening against a good offensive club in Holy Cross.
In 14 innings, Anderson has allowed no runs on six hits, walking six and striking 23.
“It felt good,” Anderson said. “My team had my back today and we came out with a win. My pitching coach was able to find out where we able to pitch them. It was working today. It was being more relaxed as the game goes by, able to have a game that we had more runs secured. It felt good. We just knew we had to push through it (adversity) and let everything behind us go and look to the future.”
Holy Cross coach Andy Cannizaro has seen enough of Anderson.
“He’s outstanding,” Cannizaro said. “The best thing that I say to our team tonight is thank goodness he doesn’t get the chance to pitch again this series. We faced Cy Young tonight. He strikes out 18 (17 officially) of 21 batters. Certainly tip my cap to him, a phenomenal pitcher. He’s going to play the heck out of centerfield the next two days. He’s a really fun player to watch.”
Anderson got all of the support he would need in the top of the first and he was largely responsible, supporting himself with a double to leadoff the game.
Southern Miss commit Matthew Russo was walked intentionally. Steven Spalitta walked to load the bases and Ethan Williams delivered a sacrifice fly to deep center, scoring courtesy runner Matthew Cody to make it 1-0.
The Wolves got two insurance runs in the top of the fourth inning on singles by by Hunter Corass and Cade Lanoux. Anderson was passed intentionally and Russo drilled a two-run single to make it 3-0.
St. Paul’s finished the scoring in the top of the seventh on singles by Aiden Barrios and Russo and a sacrifice fly by Spalitta to make it 4-0.
In the bottom of the seventh with one out, Anderson walked Luke St. Amant but he picked off courtesy runner Aaron Guichard and got Max Licciardi to fly out to right on the final pitch of the game just as he reached his pitch limit of 115.
Russo was 2-for-3 with a walk and two RBI for the Wolves.
St. Paul’s coach Mick Nunez was proud of the way his team played under adverse circumstances.
“It’s a tough group,” Nunez said. “I’m happy they stayed together. That’s what we preach all the time. It’s a brotherhood and they came out and I thought they played really well all around tonight. Kade was really on tonight. That’s as good a performance as I’ve seen. It was special for him and us. His double was much needed.”
Nunez was uncertain how his team would react to having to forfeit all of its games for inadvertently playing an ineligible player all season long and dropping to the 12th and last seed and having to play Holy Cross on the road, rather than playing at home against St. Augustine.
“They reacted great,” Nunez said. “The whole situation, it’s terrible. It was just an error, a human mistake and it affected everybody. It’s a great family (Winchester family). Luckily, the team is a great family so we just played through it.”
Southeastern Louisiana signee Lance Lauve followed up his perfect game against John Curtis on April 20 with a solid performance, allowing four runs on seven hits. Lauve walked three and struck out seven in the loss.
Davis Stephens had a double while John Dade Wooton singled for the only two hits for the Tigers.
Holy Cross was supposed to host Scotlandville but that changed with St. Paul’s having to forfeit all of its games for inadvertently playing an ineligible player all season long and the Wolves dropped below the Hornets to the 12th seed, leaving them to play Holy Cross, a team that St. Paul’s won two of three games from in the regular season.
“What happened in the last 24 hours is completely out of our hands,” Cannizaro said. “The only thing you can do is to try to everything you can to prepare your guys to play each and every day. It didn’t matter if we had a day or seven days. We were not going to hit Kade Anderson tonight, whether we had a week’s notice or not. Congratulations to him.”
Game two is set for 6:30 p.m. Friday with game three Saturday at 1 p.m., if needed.
If it goes to game three, you will be able to watch it live at CrescentCitySports.com
STP 100 200 1 — 4 7 0, 8 LOB
HC 000 000 0 — 0 2 1, 5 LOB
WP—Kade Anderson (8-1)
LP—Lance Lauve (2-1)
Time of Game: 1:57
SB—Trent Caime, Aiden Barrios, Hunter Corass, Cade Lanoux, Matthew Russo, Davis Stephens
2B—Kade Anderson, Davis Stephens
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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…