Edens’ timely hits spark St. Michael

Junior Austin Edens smashed timely doubles in his first three at-bats and all nine St. Michael the Archangel baseball players had a hit as the Warriors opened the playoffs with a victory.

The Warriors smashed a season-high 17 hits to defeat Plaquemine 11-3 in a Class 4A bidistrict playoff game Friday at St. Michael.

Leadoff hitter Chris Dufour and Zach Harris, who hits ninth, added three hits and Kyle Bankston and Kyle Cannatella two hits for District 6-4A co-champion St. Michael (22-11), which defeated Plaquemine (14-10) for the third time. Tenth-seeded St. Michael advances to a regional game next week at No. 7 DeRidder.

“St. Michael hit the ball better than anybody we’ve played all year,” Plaquemine coach Scott Allen said. “I think St. Michael has a chance to go a long way in the playoffs. We’re a young team and started four freshmen and two sophomores. We’re building a baseball program here, and the future is bright.”

Plaquemine scored two runs in the top of the first as St. Michael made two errors. Ben Cavalier had an RBI single, and Julius Maracalin scored on a rundown between third and home when the ball was knocked loose from the catcher on the tag.

St. Michael scored in all six innings with three runs coming in the fourth and two runs in the third, fifth and sixth.

Dufour had an RBI in the second to tie the game at 2. The Warriors took the lead for good in the third as Kyle Bankston singled to center field to drive in two runs for a 4-2 lead.

Cavalier (5-4) was chased after 3.1 innings. He allowed eight hits and hit three batters. Joe Keller went the distance for the Green Devils.

Senior James Smith (6-1) scattered three hits and struck out four in five innings for the Warriors. Edens, J.T. Mauldin and Smith had RBIs as the Warriors smashed five hits and scored three runs in the fourth inning for a 7-2 lead.

“We hit as a team from 1-9, and defensively everybody is making plays,” Smith said. “The first inning was a little rough, but I settled in while pitching the rest of the way.”

Edens pitched the sixth inning and faced just three batters. Dylan McElroy worked the seventh. Plaquemine loaded the bases with two outs, but McElroy fanned Keller to end the game.

Cavalier had an RBI in the fifth inning as Plaquemine pulled within 7-3. Cavalier had two hits and the rest of the team had two hits.

“We swung the bats very well today,” St. Michael coach Johnny Bernhard said. “It’s what you want to see in the postseason. The guys are seeing the ball well, and we had just one strikeout. The guys are hitting with authority. It was a total team win today, and our defense made plays.”

Plaquemine sent just three batters to the plate in the second, fourth and sixth innings.

Broussard had an RBI double and Harris an RBI single in the bottom of the sixth to complete the scoring.