Central Baseball Clinches Playoff Berth

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The Central Wildcat baseball team clinched a playoff berth with a wild 48 hour stretch that included eighteen innings of baseball.  The Wildcats started the week in third place in district 5-5A and one game behind Catholic High School.  On Monday, the Wildcats and Bears battled for 10 innings without declaring a winner when darkness suspended the game.  Central then defeated Woodlawn on Tuesday 5-2, while Catholic lost to Denham Springs 10-5.  On Wednesday, the Wildcats and Bears met back at Central High School to complete the suspended game and Central wasted little time in pushing across the winning run in the bottom of the 11th, the first inning of that day, for a 5-4 victory and sole possession of second place in district 5-5A a game ahead of Catholic High. 


Central is currently riding a five game win streak that includes a win over third ranked and district leading Denham Springs.  During the streak the Wildcats have been led on the mound by Kory Keowen.  He pitched a complete game, three hit gem and Cade Leblanc added a two-run homerun as the Wildcats defeated the Yellow Jackets 5-1 at North Park in Denham Springs.  Then five days later, Keowen threw seven complete innings of two-hit ball against Woodlawn.  The Panthers’ only two runs were unearned in the seventh inning. 


The Monday game with Catholic High started out great for the Bears as they took a 4-0 lead into the bottom of the 3rd inning.  Central’s Cade Leblanc hit a grand slam to tie the game up at 4-4 and set the stage for eight innings of excitement.  Central pitcher Brennan Stelly, who relieved Leblanc in the top of the 3rd, and Catholic pitcher Aaron Nola proceeded to shut down rally after rally for the rest of the day.  Catholic had two potential winning runs thrown out at the plate in the 7th and 8th innings.  The first came on a base hit to right field when Leblanc fired a strike to catcher Austin Bourke for the out.  The second came when Stelly covered home on a wild pitch just in time to tag out the Bear runner from third base.  The Wildcats also had their chances on Monday, but Nola, who pitched nine innings, and reliever Dylan Gregoire both got strike outs to end the 8th, 9th, and 10th innings with at least two Central runners on base in each.  Finally on Wednesday, new Central pitcher Corey Laudermill got the Bears out in order, and the Wildcats pushed a run across.  A two-out single by Jacob Lesage was followed by a hit by pitch to Justin Creel, his sixth time on base in the game.  Leblanc once again provided the big hit with a full count single to centerfield to score Lesage and lock up the playoff berth for the Wildcats.


Central will complete it’s regular season on Tuesday, April 28, with a home game against Denham Springs, and then Thursday, April 30, at Catholic High.