With the South Lafourche High School baseball team, Noah Plaisance was a pitcher, yes, but also somewhat of a problem solver.
When it was late in the game and the team was in trouble, it was his job to come in relief and fix it.
And somehow, some way — bases loaded and one out, runners at the corners and no outs — it always, somehow got done.
“He stranded 33 men on base in 15 appearances,” South Lafourche baseball coach Andrew Ravaglia said with a laugh. “That’s incredible — unheard of kind of stuff. He was always pitching in high leverage situations and his numbers were just incredible.”
Now, it’s time to go solve some problems at the next level at a program across the country.
Plaisance signed a National Letter of Intent this morning to continue his career at Davis and Elkins College, a Division II program in Elkins, West Virginia.
Several family members, friends and former and current coaches attended a ceremony on Thursday morning to honor Plaisance — just weeks before he departs to begin his collegiate career.
Plaisance said he’s excited for the opportunity to compete at the next level, calling it a dream come true — the final result of the hard work he’s put in over the years to get to this point.
“It’s a little bit of a surprise because it all happened kind of late in the summer, but it’s exciting. I’m so very excited and happy for the opportunity,” Plaisance said. “I’m a little nervous with it being so far away, but that nervousness gets drowned by the excitement. It’s a good feeling. I can’t wait to get started.”
Plaisance was somewhat of a secret weapon for South Lafourche last year — a guy who was a huge weapon for the team, often times when they needed outs the most.
He was a reliever/closer and the Tarpons were often in close, competitive games that weren’t decided until the final innings.
In 20.1 innings, Plaisance stranded the 33 men on base and posted just a minuscule 0.34 ERA.
Ravaglia said Plaisance has multiple pitches and command of the strike zone, which will allow him to succeed at the next level.
“He has great movement on his fastball,” Ravaglia said. “It’s hard for guys to square him up because he’s always keeping them guessing.”
Plaisance also talked about that natural movement on his fastball, adding that he’s not doing anything to generate that, calling it a “natural effect” his pitches have when moving toward the plate.
The pitcher said he also disguises the ball well behind his head when making his pitching motion, which keeps hitters off stride.
That, too, is something he said he isn’t doing intentionally, but it just sort of happens.
“A lot of coaches have tried to alter my throwing mechanics throughout my career, but I always came back to this way because it’s how I’ve thrown my entire career,” Plaisance said. “And for me, it just works. Hitters tell me they don’t see the pitches well, so it’s hard for them to get a barrel on the ball.”
Plaisance earned the offer over the summer pitching for the Southland Hogs. He was part of the team that finished as a Semifinalist at the American Legion State Tournament last week.
He said he never got to make an official visit to the West Virginia campus, but said he’s seen plenty of pictures and has been on FaceTime with coaches.
“They have a beautiful campus,” he said. “Their facilities are great.”
Ravaglia, a former collegiate coach, said he believes that Plaisance will be a reliever at the next level because of his ability to pitch in high-leverage situations.
Plaisance said he thinks that’s likely his best spot, too, but added that he would consider any role to help the team win.
“I’ll do whatever they want me to do,” Plaisance said. “I’m here to help the team.”
When asked what allows him to get out of pressure situations with minimal damage, Plaisance smiled, shrugged his shoulders and answered calmly.
How calm he was during the question was fitting for the answer.
“I just stay calm and composed,” he said. “I love those situations.”