They’re a month apart in age and closer than the 60 feet, 6 inches that normally separates them during a baseball game.
They’re life-long friends whose families are also the best of friends, making this year’s journey for seniors Chase Guitreau and Hunter Dupuy of Maurepas High’s baseball team a special one.
But if they have anything to say about it, their careers are from over.
Guitreau and Dupuy, along with fellow seniors Cole and Trevor Bovia, will close out one chapter of their careers, when they appear at home for the final time at 4 p.m. Friday when ninth-seeded Maurepas (18-11) hosts top-seeded Pitkin (25-5) in a Class B state quarterfinal matchup.
The Wolves are looking for their first trip to the state tournament in four years when Guitreau and Dupuy were freshmen.
“We’ve literally been together since we were born,” said Dupuy, who's godfather is Guitreau's dad. “We want to be better than each other. We try to show up the other. That’s something we use to our advantage.”
Since the first month of the season, a span in which Maurepas lost 12-0 to Pitkin on March 19, the Wolves have won 13 of 17 games to reach their first state quarterfinal in two years.
Maurepas, the District 7-B champion, earned the right for one final home game for its four-member senior class with a 7-2 state regional road victory over eight-seeded Doyline.
Guitreau, the team’s starter and winning pitcher in the game, overcame a case of nerves, along with a two-run deficit, to garner the win with 6.1 innings of work before reaching his limit of 115 pitches. He allowed two hits and struck out seven before Dupuy came in to finish up with a pair of strikeouts.
“It was the biggest moment of my career,” said Guitreau, who also went 2-for-3 at the plate with a triple and 2 RBIs. “I wasn’t nervous at first and then when we were down 2-0, I got nervous.
“I felt like this may be my last game in high school,” Guitreau said. “Then I buckled down and starting hitting my spots, throwing harder and making all of my pitches work. Our defense worked. I can’t do it all by myself. I have to have a defense behind me that I can trust and can make the plays.”
The beauty of the bond that exits between Guitreau and Dupuy is at its best on the field.
Not only do they alternate starts but when Guitreau (4-4, 1.61 ERA, 101 strikeouts) starts, he looks to a familiar target in Dupuy behind the plate and vice versa when Dupuy (6-2, 2.27 ERA, 58 Ks) gets the start, he throws to Guitreau.
“I don’t have a No. 1, but two No. 1s,” Maurepas coach Anthony Gregoire said. “I could put either one out of there and feel confident. Since they catch each other, they see what’s working if and the hitter’s tendencies. They work well together.”
Because their pitching styles are similar Gregoire, who didn’t name a starter for the quarterfinal, said there’s no drop off from one to the other.
Guitreau admittedly throws a little harder but concedes that Dupuy’s repertoire is a little more expansive to include a slider and knuckleball.
“We’ve been knowing each other since before Tee-ball,” Guitreau said. “He started off as my catcher in kid’s pitch and then I ended up being his catcher in high school. I feel like I can throw a curveball in the dirt and I know he’s going to catch it. He’s one of the guys, if I’m struggling, will come to the mound and talk me through it. That’s what I like about him.”
Dupuy, who has signed to play at Baton Rouge Community College, believes his more off-speed approach best complements the harder throwing Guitreau.
“He was dominant the whole game, I knew he wanted me to be as dominant as he was” Dupuy said of Guitreau. “I came in throwing the hardest I’ve thrown and maybe as hard and he threw. I was hitting my spots and let the defense play.”
Said Guitreau, “Hunter came in and threw strikes, hit his spots and the defense worked. That’s what he had to do. I think he felt the same way as I did; that could have been our last game.”
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