Szush shines in E.D. White victory

E.D. White’s Payton Coddou makes a catch at first base Thursday in Thibodaux. (Photo by Abby Tabor/Staff)

As his teammates gave him a couple of high-fives and pats on the back after an 11-strikeout performance against Redemptorist on Thursday, E.D. White Catholic senior pitcher Scott Szush wanted to give a little love back to his team.

Szush, a Southeastern Louisiana signee, said whenever the Wolves batters managed to put a bat on one of his pitches, he could count on his defense to make routine plays.

Szush and the Cardinals suffocating defense was just the right formula in a 6-1 win over Redemptorist on the opening day of the Tiger-Cardinal Classic.

Szush tossed a season-high 11 strikeouts and allowed four hits and a run in the complete-game win, but he credited his defense for giving him confidence on the mound.

"I threw a lot of strikes, and I let my defense play behind me," Szush said. "I think we have one of the best defenses anywhere. I know if I make a mistake, I know they are going to be behind me and pick it up. That helps a lot."

E.D. White, which improved to 11-1 overall with the win and is ranked No. 1 in the Class 3A power ratings on, struck first in the opening inning when Brett Duet reached on an error and later came home on a RBI single from Logan Barbera. After the Cardinals loaded the bases with two outs, Barbera scored on a passed ball that put E.D. White ahead 2-0 in the first inning.

E.D. White didn't score again until the fourth inning when Nick Falgout hit a two-run RBI double to the left field fence, putting the Cardinals up 4-0.

The Wolves (5-5) were finally able to have some success against Szush in the sixth inning. Lee Whitaker led off the inning with a double to the centerfield wall, and on the next at-bat, Russell Gage brought him home with a RBI single to left field, cutting the lead to 4-1.

But Szush quickly seized the Wolves' momentum away with two strikeouts to get out of the inning without giving up any more runs.

In the bottom of the sixth inning, Michael Waguespack (2-for-3) blasted a solo home run over the left centerfield wall to extend the E.D. White advantage to 5-1, and Duet added an RBI to push it to 6-1.

With a comfortable lead on his side, Szush shut down the Wolves one final time in the top of the seventh inning by striking out two batters and watching his defense make a routine play on a groundball on the final out to seal the win for the Cardinals.

Although they finished with seven hits, Cardinals coach Shane Trosclair said his was pleased with the pitching and defensive performance.

"We were a little rusty at the plate, but pitching and defense set the tone," Trosclair said. "Scott Szush has been here before. He went out and did a great job, and we played great defense. It was a good win."

Redemptorist coach Nick Hall said the Wolves (three errors) just couldn't catch a break against E.D. White.

"They are good," Hall said. "Szush did a great job. He pitched like a college pitcher. He was switching up his fastball and curveball. He did a great job of keeping us off-balanced. We had a little chance there in the sixth inning to get something going, but against a good team like that, you've got to take advantage of every opportunity. You can not give them anything. They are a well-coached team, and there is a reason why they are ranked No. 1 in 3A."

With eight seniors on the roster, Trosclair said the Cardinals are gaining confidence every game.

"It is a veteran ballclub," Trosclair said. "They expect to play well, but they have to understand that when you're playing well and you have the reputation you have, that everybody is going to play their best to beat you. No matter who we play, they are coming to get you. If we take one pitch off, then there goes our game. Having a veteran ballclub inspires us to be better this year."

Redemptorist pitcher Blake Landry (five innings, five hits, four runs and strikeouts each and one walk) took the loss, and Gage handled the final inning on the mound for the Wolves.

The second day of the Tiger-Cardinal Classic continues with four games today. South Lafourche will play Vandebilt Catholic at 3:30 today from E.D. White's baseball field. The remaining three games — Central Catholic vs. Thibodaux (3:30 today), Livonia vs. Ellender (5:45 today) and E.D. White vs. Thibodaux (8 tonight) — will be played at Thibodaux High.




At the Tiger-Cardinal Classic from Thibodaux, the Thibodaux improved to 4-5 overall after Dane Adams worked four innings and picked up the victory on the mound.

Thibodaux also got a 3-run homer run from Wesley Lassere in the fifth inning. Lassere also worked three innings of relief.




At the Tiger-Cardinal Classic from Thibodaux, the Trojans (4-5) got two hits each from Derian Theriot (two runs, RBI), Norry Galjour (double, two runs, three RBIs, walk), Dominic Pitre (run, two RBIs) and Don Danos (double, triple, run, two RBIs) in the victory which went five innings because of the mercy rule.

South Lafourche (11 hits, four errors) scored four runs in the first inning, two in the second and two runs in each of the fourth and fifth innings.

Cullen Matherne (five innings, five hits, five strikeouts, two walks, no earned runs) earned the win on the mound for South Lafourche.




At the Tiger-Cardinal Classic from Morgan City, the Terriers hit four home runs and improved to 10-3 overall after Chase Hawthorne (five innings, seven hits, seven strikeouts, three walks) got the win and Grant Bergeron worked in relief.

Blake Talbot (3-for-4, two home runs, double, six RBIs), Matt Bergeron (3-for-5, homer, three RBIs), James Cenac (homer, two RBIs) and Josh Bergeron (3-for-4, three RBIs) led the Terriers at the plate.




At the Gerald Oubre Memorial Tournament from Mathews, Jesuit improved to 12-3 overall, and the Trojans fell to 2-12 overall.

Leading hitters for the Trojans were Josh Hebert (2-for-3, two RBIs), Colin Richard (2-for-3), Brader Dufrene (2-for-3) and Bryce Guidry (1-for-2).

Central Lafourche hosts Holy Cross at 5 today in the tourney.




At Lafayette, the Lions improved to 7-3 overall after outhitting Assembly Christian 11-8 and overcoming two errors.

Larry Lasseigne (seven innings, eight hits, seven runs, four earned runs, four strikeouts, two walks) got the win on the mound for the Lions.

Mark Mimnagh (3-for-3, two RBIs, double), Zach Folmar (double, two RBIs, two hits), Randal Soileau (triple, three RBIs) and Bryce LaFont (two doubles, RBI) led CCA at the plate.


— Compiled by staff writer Kelly McElroy