Baseball in a mitt, bat stock

Baseball in a mitt with a black bat low angle selective focus view on a baseball field

Barbe High School center fielder Donovan LaSalle made the most of his second chance, blasting a go-ahead grand slam in the seventh inning of Barbe’s 10-4 win over West Monroe in the nonselect Division I state championship baseball game.

LaSalle’s blast highlighted a nine-run inning for Barbe, who entered the final inning trailing 4-1.

“I just didn’t want to let my team down in any way,” LaSalle said. “I just wanted to help my team win and we succeeded. I can’t express what it felt like running the bases.”

LaSalle’s grand slam was a moment of redemption for him after popping up in a bases-loaded situation in last year’s playoffs to end the Bucs' season.

“He asked me if I wanted him to take (and) I told him to do whatever he wanted,” Barbe coach Glenn Cecchini said. “That was last year, this is this year. He’s been one of our top guys all year."

LaSalle finished the season hitting .510 with 10 home runs, 43 RBIs, 57 runs and 33 stolen bases. He helped the Bucs finish the season 39-1, including 20 straight wins to end the season and a No. 4 national ranking by SBLive.

“We went through everything — all the mornings, all the grind, everything,” he said. “This team is the closest ever. I love Barbe, everything they did for me, coach, all my teammates. We’re not a team, we’re a family.”

LaSalle’s blast helped Barbe earn its 12th state championship. He is the seventh Buc to earn the Mr. Baseball award.

He also helped the Bucs win a state championship in 2021, playing second base and in the outfield. He drove in the game’s only run in a 1-0, extra-inning victory over Sam Houston in the semifinal round. He also drove in a run in the championship game, a 5-0 win over West Monroe.

He signed to play at Oklahoma State in November.

“When I was on my visit there, it felt like home," he said. "It was like being with family with the players and coaches there."

Cecchini said LaSalle’s impact on and off the field won’t be forgotten

“He’s one of the most selfless people, he is our hardest worker and is the epitome of a great teammate,” Cecchini said. “He’s amazing. He is a Barbe legend and one of the best to ever play here.”

Mr. Baseball winners

1996: Joe Lawrence, Barbe

1997: Chucky Son, Parkview Baptist

1998: Aaron Lowe, Parkway

1999: Nick Bourgeois, Barbe

2000: Austin Nagle, Barbe

2001: Austin Nagle, Barbe/Jonathan Zeringue, E.D. White

2002: Greg Smith, Alexandria

2003: Matt Greenwich, Parkview Baptist

2004: Ben Soignier, West Monroe

2005: Beau Jones, Destrehan

2006: Forrest Moore, Parkview Baptist

2007: Carmen Angelini, Barbe

2008: Zack Von Rosenberg, Zachary

2009: Zack Von Rosenberg, Zachary

2010: Bryan Picou, Northlake Christian

2011: Aaron Nola, Catholic-BR

2012: Gavin Cecchini, Barbe

2013: Jared Poche’, Lutcher

2014: Chase Vallot, St. Thomas More

2015: Kale Breaux, Sulphur

2016: Nick Webre, Teurlings Catholic

2017: Jacob Pearson, West Monroe

2018: Cade Beloso, John Curtis

2019: Cameron Meeks, Sam Houston

2020: Season canceled

2021: Jack Walker, Barbe

2022: Ethan Frey, Rosepine

2023: Donovan LaSalle, Barbe