Trent Friedel | Stringer
The Tigers traveled to Parkway Monday, April 11 and took a loss to a quality 5A ball team. Prior to that, the Tigers were on a four-game win streak where the bats were swinging, averaging more than 12 runs a game.
The 17-7 record before the Parkway game had the team sitting in the 10 spot in Division IV power rankings. Saint Mary’s then beat district rival Logansport 11-1 and Southwood 12-2. In the Southwood game, Coach Brooks McMinn made an impression on his team and their need to be successful with the bunt. The Tigers reached base laying down four of five bunts in the fifth inning trailing 4-2.
Saint Mary’s scored eight runs in the inning and went on to beat the Cowboys 12-2. Payne Williams earned a top performer that game going 3 for 4 at the plate and stole three bases while getting 2 RBI’s.
The Tigers then finished district with a resounding 10-1 victory over LaSalle, the indefeated District 3-1A champions three years running. The win marked the 100th for McMinn in his tenure at St. Mary’s. The regular season concluded with a loss to 5-A Comeaux and a 16-7 win over 4-A Bolton.
The strenuous season has the Tigers in the nine seed as post season play begins this week. Saint Mary’s hit the road Thursday for a best of three series against Covenant Christian in Houma. The 21-9 Tigers are smack dab in the middle of the pack against the 20-11 Lions. Covenant Christian will be a good team and the Tigers will have to play well to win on the road. Coach McMinn knows the Lions will not be an easy task. He said of the road games, that his team will have to play well to beat them.
“They are a going to be a very solid team and very hardnosed from what I have gathered. There really is no safe game in our division because of the talent from top to bottom in the bracket. It is supposed to be a very good environment, and I am excited for the test we are going to have. We have had a good week of preparation now it is time to go play.”
The Tigers have a good shot, especially playing a best of three series. They have shown the ability to hit and play small ball to generate runs. The team is hitting .362 with a .500 OBP on base percentage. Connor is hitting .470 and Drake Griffin is at .449. Senior Graeme Fidelak matches Griffin with a .449 and will look to keep his season going with the aid of several up-and-coming Tigers.
Fidelak has been a part of the 100 wins from the beginning and assistant Tate Nelson has been there also with about half as a coach and half as a player. Coach McMinn on the playoffs and his 100th win at his alma mater said, “The hundredth win really did work out picture perfect. It happened on our home field with the district championship on the line. We have been able to win 100 games in the last five years with one of those years shorted by Covid. Yes, I am the head coach, but this is more of a testament to our player and our program. I make the lineup and practice schedules, but I don’t win the games. These kids have won 100 games, not me. Very proud of the groups that we have had over the last five years.”
The program has been successful but I’m sure they would like a shot at the #1 seed Opelousas Catholic when they beat the Lions.