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