Notre Dame earns costly win over North Vermilion
LEROY – Notre Dame remained atop the District 5-AAA standings Thursday, but not without paying a heavy price.
The Pios’ 9-1 victory over North Vermilion Thursday left them with a one-game lead over Erath in the league standings, but the cost was the loss of one of their key players for an indifinite period of time.
In the bottom of the seventh inning with one out, a wide throw to first base pulled ND’s Pete Petitjean off the bag, forcing him to try and tag the runner for the out.
As Petitjean swiped the tag behind his back, his glove hand jammed against the runner, forcing him out of the game for the final two outs.
Friday morning, following Petitjean’s doctor’s visit, the news Pios coach Timmy Robichaux received was not what he wanted to hear.
“We were hoping it wasn’t going to be that bad but, unfortunately, his wrist is fractured,” said Robichaux of Petitjean’s injury. “I think they said (he’d be out) four weeks so we’d have him back for the first or second round of the playoffs."
The injury was a blow to the top-ranked Pios, but it could have been worse.
“It’s not a good thing but injuries do occur," said Robichaux. "Pete brings so much energy to the team when he’s on the field. At least we’ll get him back and he’s not lost for the remainder of the year.”
Petitjean’s injury occurred well after Notre Dame had the game well in hand.
After struggling in the first few innings against Abbeville on Tuesday, the Pios unloaded for five runs in the top of the first inning against the Patriots.
“It was good to score early,” said Robichaux. “Lately, it’s taken a little bit for us to adjust to the speed of the pitcher in district play and we’ve been stressing making those adjustments quicker. Sometimes, if it takes you too long to make adjustments, you might not win the game. So it was good that we came out right away and scored some runs early."
The Pios scored their first run courtesy of an error and a wild pitch. They added two more runs on an Austin Robichaux single to left field. Paiton McBride also had an RBI single in the five-run first inning while the final run crossed the plate when McBride got caught in a rundown.
The big first inning was more than enough for ND starting pitcher Mitch Corzine.
The senior hurler limited North Vermilion to just one hit in the first four innings and surrendered just two more in the fifth and sixth before giving way to Nick Gossen in the seventh.
“Mitch was sharp today and he had a good day on the mound,” said Robichaux. “He worked inside a lot and tied them up a bit. They couldn’t really get the barrel through he got a lot of fly balls.”
The Pios added to their lead in the third inning when Connor Goss and Robichaux recorded back-to-back singles to start the frame. Goss eventually scored on an error in the outfield while Robichaux scored on a groundout by Ricky Stoma.
Robichaux accounted for the Pios’ final two runs with a solo home run in the fifth inning and an RBI triple in the seventh. He finished the day with a 4-for-4 performance that left him a double shy of hitting for the cycle.
North Vermilion’s lone run crossed the plate in the seventh following the error that led to Petitjean’s injury.
Trey Brousard singled, moved the third on the miscue and scored on a fielder’s choice off the bat of Joe Del Duhon.
Brylon Suire followed with a single to give the Patriots runners at the corners, but Gossen got out of the jam by striking out Blaythe Painter to end the game.
The Pios hammered out 10 hits on the day, four coming from Robichaux. McBride had an RBI single while Petitjean, Corzine, Goss, Gossen and Luke Bourgeois each had one hit.
Suire Broussard, Duhon, Landon Dupuy and Justin Champaigne each had one hit for the Patriots.
“The win gives us a little breathing room in district but we still have room for improvement” said Robichaux, whose team now sits at 21-1 overall and 4-0 in league play. “It puts us in a good position in district but there’s still things that we can do to get better.”
The Pios will return to action today when they travel to LaPlace to take on St. Charles at 2 p.m.
“We’ve lost to them (St. Charles) two years in a row,” said Robichaux of today’s contest against Class AA’s No. 5- ranked Comets. “We lost to them in the semifinals (in 2009) and last year at home. They are a good team, they play the game well and they’re well coached so it’s a good test for us to go over there and play them on the road.”