It took a while to get the season finally at Athletic Park with district and cross parish rival the Hammond Tornado’s under way after nearly a 2 hour rain delay. The Tors took an early lead with 1 run in the top of the first when lead off batter Trey Braziel drew a walk. Braziel advanced to 2nd on a ground ball and eventually scored on a throwing error to put Hammond up 1-0. Beau Balado was on the mound for Hammond and held the Green Wave scoreless until the 3rd inning when Bryce Landry led off the inning with a double to left center, Landry advanced to 2nd on a sacrifice bunt by Michael Jacob, Jeb Kraft reached on an error and Landry scored on the play. After a fly out to left Simon Landry drew a 2 out walk and Collin Roberts doubled to left field to score Kraft and move Landry to 3rd. Cole Wolfe walked to load the bases but Ponchatoula could not capitalize on the big inning as the inning ended with a fly ball to right. The Green Wave was up 2-1 and Junior right hander Brock Daniels kept it that way until the top of the 6th. Hammond’s 9 hole hitter Robert Williams led off the inning with a single, Braziel followed with a single and both runners scored when Cayman Disher doubled to deep right center to put Hammond up 3-2. That was the final as the Green Wave never mounted a threat with their final 6 outs as Balado got 2 strike outs and a double play ground ball in the final 2 innings to help preserve the victory. Daniels went the distance on the mound for Ponchatoula allowing 3 runs on 5 hits while recording 5 strike outs and allowing 2 walks. The loss allowed Hammond to tie Ponchatoula for 3rd place in the final District 6-5A standings with both teams finishing at 8-6 in the District. Ponchatoula finished 15-13 overall and 37th in the lhsaa final power ranking standings. While missing the play-offs was disappointing for the Wave their was several high points on the season including defeating North Shore to knock them out of the play-off race as well as defeating 2016 play off teams Chalmette and district rival St. Paul’s.
The Green Wave also had several individuals that finished in the top 10 statistical leaders in District 6-5A for the 2016 season
Junior Short Stop Nathan Tribble finished 5th in overall Batting Average (.322) and 3rd in total runs scored (23)
Senior 1st Baseman Simon Landry finished 10th overall BA (.317) 5th with On Base Percentage (.441) and 2nd overall in Slugging Percentage (.524). Landry had 10 Doubles, 2 Triples and a Home Run on the season. On the Mound Landry finished 6th overall in the district with a 2.21 ERA and finished 6th overall with Wins (3). Landry also finished 6th overall in Fielding percentage at .971%.
Junior Right Hander Brock Daniels finished 4th in overall Earned Runs Allowed with a 1.81 ERA and 5th in Strike Outs with 44.
Senior Right Hander Cole Wolfe finished 2nd overall with wins (4) and Senior Right Hander Reid Lambert was 10th overall in Earned Runs Allowed with a 2.58 ERA. Senior Catcher Bryce Landry finished 3rd in Fielding percentage at .980%
Ponchatoula kept things very interesting in the race for the District 6-5A championship Tuesday night with a big road win over the District leading North Shore Panthers. The victory pulls the Green Wave into a tie for 2nd place with the Panthers with 1 game left in the regular season. Both Teams trail St. Paul by a game and with this Thursday’s schedule having St. Paul taking on Fontainebleau and Ponchatoula taking on Hammond the final game of the season will decide the district race. Against North Shore Ponchatoula got on the board first when Nathan Tribble and Simon Landry drew back to back walks and Tribble scored on a delayed steal attempt by Landry. The Green Wave added another run in the second inning when Basiel Williams hit a solo Home Run over the right field wall to put the Wave up 2-0. Senior right hander Reid Lambert was strong on the mound for Ponchatoula and had North Shore shutout going into the bottom of the 7th. In the 7th the Panthers led off with a single then Lambert got his 6th strike out of the night for the first out of the inning. Lambert then induced a ground ball to 2nd in what looked liked a possible game ending double play however the ball skipped off of the umpires leg allowing both runners to be safe. Both runners eventually scored with the aid of a past ball and wild pitch before Lambert settled down and got out of the inning, however the game was tied at 2-2 forcing extra innings. In the top of the 8th Simon Landry hit a stand up double to the left field corner to put a runner in scoring position. Landry advanced to 3rd on a single by Collin Roberts then scored on a RBI ground out by Justin Oubre to give the Wave the run they would need for the win. Brock Daniels came on in relief of Lambert in the 8th and struck out the 1st two Panther batters however an error allowed the next Panther batter to reach 1st allowing the potential winning run to come to the plate. Daniels induced a ground ball to Simon Landry at 1st and Landry secured the ball and touched the bag to end the game and preserve the 3-2 Victory.
Due to an early season rain out with Chalmette Ponchatoula found itself taking on two top 20 teams in a late season out of District double header Monday night at Athletic Park. In Game 1 against the 18th ranked Chalmette Owls Ponchatoula jumped out to an early 4 run lead in the bottom of the 1st inning when Jeb Kraft drew a lead off walk and Nathan Tribble beat out a bunt single to put runners on 1st and 2nd. Simon “Mo” Landry then cranked a 3 run Home Run over the left field wall to put the Wave up 3-0. The Greenies added another run when Collin Roberts singled, advanced to 2nd on a throwing error then moved to 3rd on a wild pitch, Roberts then scored on a RBI ground out by Jacques Brechtel to put the Wave up 4-0. After Chalmette posted runs in the 3rd and 4th innings to close the gap to 4-2. Ponchatoula added 2 more runs in the 4th when Brechtel reached on an error then advanced to 2nd on a sacrifice bunt. Bryce Landry singled to left to put runners on 1st and 3rd, with courtesy runner Russell Rock running for Landry both Brechtel and Rock Scored when Michael Jacob Reached on an error then the Owl committed a throwing error allowing Rock to score. Chalmette put up 3 runs in the top of the 5th to cut the lead to 1 run. Chris Ballard came on in relief of Wave starter Cole Wolfe and held the Owls scoreless the rest of the way for the save allowing 1 hit with 2 strike outs. Wolfe got the win allowing 5 runs on 6 hits with 5 strike outs. Simon Landry led the Wave offense going 2 for 3 on the day with 3 RBI’s.
In game two vs. the 17th ranked Rummel Raiders the Wave offense was kept off balance by Rummel’s pitching and managed only 1 hit on the night. Simon Landry was on the mound and took the loss for Ponchatoula. Landry held the powerful Raider offense to 3 runs on 7 hits while striking out 6 but also issued 5 walks along the way. Rummel scored a run in the 1st, 5th, and 7th innings to take the 3-0 victory.
Junior Right hander Brock Daniels performance on the mound in Saturday’s District match-up with the Fontainebleau Bulldogs coupled with some solid defensive play helped Ponchatoula keep pace at one game behind District Leaders North Shore and St. Paul. Daniels went the distance with a dominant 3 hit,1 walk Shut-Out performance over the Bulldogs. The Green Wave offense managed 6 hits but put the ball in play and forced 4 Fontainebleau errors on the day. The Wave put 2 runs on the board in the first inning when Simon Landry singled with 2 outs, Collin Roberts reached on an error and both runners scored when Austin Sheridan reached on another error by the Bulldogs to put the Wave up 2-0. Ponchatoula added another run in the 2nd when Cole Wolfe was hit by a pitch, after advancing on a ground out by Bryce Landry Wolfe scored on an RBI single up the middle by Michael Jacob. The Wave added a fourth run in the 3rd when Collin Roberts singled to lead off the inning, Roberts advanced to 2nd when Fontainebleau made another error on an Austin Sheridan ground ball to 3rd. Both runners advanced on a sacrifice bunt by Jacques Brechtel and Roberts was able to score on a past ball with Cole Wolfe at the plate. Wolfe drew a walk to put runners at 1st and 3rd put but an infield fly and a fly out to right ended the inning. That was all the offense Daniels and the Wave defense would need as they recorded 2 strike outs and 10 put outs including 2 double plays in the last 4 innings to shutdown any hopes the Bulldogs had of a rally. The win ended Fontainebleau’s four game win streak and keeps Ponchatoula solidly in 2nd place with Hammond and Fontainebleau all at 7-5 in the district standings and one game behind NHS and SPS. With a season sweep of the Bulldogs already in the books and win over Hammond earlier in the season Ponchatoula currently hold’s the tie breaker over both teams. The Green Wave goes out of District with a double header match up with two top 20 teams in Chalmette and perennially Catholic league power the Rummel Raiders on Monday 4/18 at Athletic Park. Ponchatoula will then travel to North Shore on Tuesday 4/19 followed by a Home match up with Hammond on Thursday 4/21 to wrap up the regular season.