The Brusly High School Baseball Panthers began their season Tuesday evening with a 7-4 loss at Zachary High.
With high expectations after last year’s deep playoff run, as the Panthers lost in the championship, Brusly head baseball coach Tait Dupont said Monday
before the game at ZHS that his team was prepared for a good season. And though they took the loss in their first game, Dupont said he still believes the Panthers are groomed for success.
The Panthers pre-season ended last weekend with a tie and a loss during their jamboree, and their regular season will continue with a tournament being played at home this weekend beginning Thursday, February 27.
During Brusly’s jamboree last week, the Panthers tied Ascension Catholic, 2-2, and lost to Plaquemine High 6-0.
Dupont said Monday afternoon that his team was simply gathering their bearings during the jamboree, adding that he fully expected them to return to their playoff-caliber form throughout the season.
“All the way from January until now, we’ve been practicing great; we’ve had great inter-squad scrimmages; we’ve had great scrimmages,” he said. “We didn’t play very well (Saturday). In both games combined we walked 12 guys and hit four batters.”
Dupont said that though his pitchers all seemed to be having an “off day” during the jamboree, he believes the Panthers’ pitching corps will be one of the team’s greatest assets this season, lead by senior Luke LeBlanc.
LeBlanc recorded the loss in Monday night’s game, pitching only 2/3 of an inning, recording two earned runs on one hit and four, overall, runs. He also recorded four BBs.
The Panthers bats seemed lax, as the team only had four hits during the game Monday. Austin Watts recorded two hits while Kwanston Adkins and Evan Daigle both notched one.
LeBlanc scored twice while Watts and Daigle each scored one.
LeBlanc recoded nine wins and no losses last year in a stellar season for Panther pitchers. The baseball squad graduated twins Cullen and Taylor Prejean, who helped lead the Panthers deep into the playoffs last season.
Other losses include second baseman Logan Smith and right fielder Cameron Willis, who were also 2013 graduates.
Kwanston Adkins, arguably the brightest spot on the field, has moved from left field to the vacant right field position left by Willis.
Adkins, as a junior, was chosen as an all-state selection and batted over .400 for the Panthers last season. He signed a letter of intent to play baseball at Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, La.
Dupont said he expects much of the same, if not more, from Adkins this year.
“We feel like he’s going to be a big leader,” Dupont said. “He’s evolved.”
Dupont said that he feels like Brusly will be able to compete well in what many are calling one of the more brutal districts in the state.
“We got a lot of guys back (from last season). We lost four seniors last year who were pretty good, but we’ve got five guys that started, and we feel like we’re going to be pretty good this year,” he said. “This is probably one of the toughest districts in the state with U-High, Parkview Baptist and West Feliciana in there, so it will be out of us four. All you can do is play the game and we’ll see what happens.”