REPLAY: St. Augustine builds huge lead, holds on edge Brother Martin in playoff series opener

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NEW ORLEANS – Apply all of the clichés you wish.

“Why not us?”

“It’s never too late.”

“This the second season.”

“We are getting hot at the right time.”

“You’ve got to believe.”

All can be utilized to describe the St. Augustine Purple Knights.

With a losing record overall and after finishing last in District 9-5A, the Big Purple have come up big when it matters most.

Genesis Prosper pitched into the seventh inning and tenth-seeded St. Augustine used a two-run double by Tyrin Kirklin and a base-clearing double by Howard Bachus to build a huge lead before holding a dramatic late rally by second-seeded Catholic League rival Brother Martin, winning 8-7 Wednesday night before a standing room only crowd at Kirsch-Rooney Stadium in game one of the Division I best-of-three series in a game seen live at

St. Augustine head coach Barret Rey asked me the question, rather than me asking him first.

“I’m not surprised, Ken, are you?” Rey asked. “I’m not surprised at all. They understood that we had to play every pitch. That’s something we talked about going into the St. Paul’s series, to play every pitch, compete every pitch. I could see guys down when I went out there. I told them we were winning, to act like it. We knew it was going to be tough.”

The Purple Knights had a commanding 8-0 lead after five innings and led 8-1 going to the bottom of the seventh and had an out in the bank.

Then, Prosper tired, and left after a pair of walks to Justin Oubre and Ryan Darrah and a single by Andrew Sieta to load the bases as Prosper reached 112 pitches.

Kirklin took over and gave up a two-run double to Walker Bazile before walking Bryce Gauthier to reload the bases. Eli Booth then drew a walk to cut the deficit to 8-4.

Kirklin departed in favor of Shannon Martin, who walked Colin Roussel and Sully Stringer, each with the bases loaded to make it 8-6.

Frank Randol followed with a sacrifice fly, scoring Booth to make it 8-7.

With the tying run at second and the potential winning run at first base, Martin struck out Julian Oubre to end the game, securing a hard-earned win that looked easy for the longest time.

“We dug ourselves too big of a hole,” Brother Martin coach Jeff Lupo said. “Credit to those guys. The difference in the game is two out hits. They had big two-out hits that plated five runs for them. We got one two-out hit throughout the game and scored just one run. They are a talented team. They are well coached and are playing with a lot of confidence.”

St. Augustine jumped on top immediately in the top of the first inning on singles by Jeffery Duroncelay and Martin before Kirklin drilled his double to make it 2-0.

It stayed that way until the fifth inning when the Purple Knights distanced themselves, scoring six runs.

Prosper walked and Jeffery Duroncelay laid down a sacrifice bunt and reached on an error. Martin walked to load the bases with no outs.

Brother Martin starter Alex Laiche walked Bryce Robinson, scoring a run and hit Kirklin with a pitch, scoring another run to make it 4-0, ending the night for Laiche.

Sam Gernhauser replaced Laiche and got two outs but Bachus cleared the bases with a shot down the left field line to make it 7-0 before a wild pitched scored Bachus to make it 8-0.

The Crusaders signed signs of life in the bottom of the sixth, finally scoring a run off Prosper on a two-out single by Bryce Gauthier before Booth was hit by a pitch. Colin Roussel singled home Gauthier to make it 8-1, setting the stage for the wild seventh inning.

Prosper got the win, going 6 1/3 innings, allowing four runs on six hits. Prosper walked four, hit two batters and struck out three to pick up the win.

Laiche took the loss, allowing seven runs, three earned, on five hits. Laiche walked four, hit two batters and struck out five. Cole Navarro followed Gernhauser to the mound and finished up with two scoreless innings.

St. Augustine (14-21) has is playing its best baseball by far, at the right time. The Purple Knights have won five straight games, including a regular season-ending 4-2 win over Brother Martin which cost the Crusaders a district title.

Brother Martin (22-8) is playing its worst baseball, by far, at the wrong time. The Crusaders have lost four of their last six games but are fully capable of changing momentum.

Game two is Thursday night at 6:30 p.m. at Kirsch-Rooney and you can watch it live on

A win by the Purple Knights would advance St. Augustine to a place it has never been in the sport, the state semifinals in Hammond. The Purple Knights reached the quarterfinals in Division I in 2018.

“I’m not surprised if Brother Martin comes out tomorrow swinging the bats,” Rey said. “We’ve got to make sure we’re consistent in what we’re doing, stay level-headed and just pitch to contact and get outs.”

A win by the Crusaders would force a third and deciding game Saturday at Mike Miley Stadium.

SA 200 060 0 — 8 7 1, 7 LOB
BM 000 001 6 — 7 7 1, 8 LOB
WP—Genesis Prosper
LP—Alex Laiche
SV—Shannon Martin
Time of Game: 2:45
SB—Jeffery Duroncelay, Bryce Robinson
2B—Tyrin Kirklin, Howard Bachus, Walker Bazile

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Ken Trahan


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 with Bill Hammack and Don Jones in 2008. In 2011, the site became On August 1, 2017, Ken helped launch Having accumulated national awards/recognition (National Sports Media Association, National Football…

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