ON PURPOSE: Day, Dutchtown down Destrehan for share of District 6-5A title
GEISMAR - Dutchtown’s Dillon Day held Destrehan to two hits and struckout 11 as the second-ranked Griffins clinched a share of the District 6-5A championship with a 2-0 victory moving into sole possession of first-place in standings with one game remaining.
“We still haven’t solved that guy,” Destrehan head coach Marty Luquet said. “It would help if we made him throw it over the plate. Obviously, the kid is an outstanding pitcher. In two games, he has done a great job against us. We have good hitters and battled, but he is just real strong. He has done it all year, so it is not new.”
Day was also on the hill in the Griffins’ 2-0 victory over the Wildcats earlier in the month surrendering just two hits with double-digit strikeouts.
“He is pretty special and I am glad he is on our team,” Dutchtown head coach Chris Schexnaydre said. “They have a pretty nice club over there. We were fortunate in these two games to pitch really well, play good defense and get timely hits when we needed.
“It was a good day for everybody and our seniors stepped up. I am excited for them to win a district championship before they leave here. It really feels good. We are co-champs no matter what.”
The teams played again Thursday in Destrehan. If the Wildcats win, a playoff will be held Saturday even though the Griffins have already beaten them twice in district play.
“I told my team before we left, we could win the district championship today but we can’t lose it,” Luquet said. “If we could beat their ace here and get them at home on Thursday, I felt like they would be down and we could win it.”
Joshua Rochelle took the loss giving up two runs on six hits in six innings while striking out five.
Shane Babineaux lined to left to open the contest but Day came back to strike out Sam Carriere and retired the next 12 batters in order.
Day was hit in the back by Rochelle’s first pitch of the contest and advanced on Troy Lewis’ groundout.
“We didn’t put him on,” Luquet said. “It kind of got away. He was hit by a pitch. I think the adrenaline early in the game gets to everyone.”
Alex Millet lined to center to bring Day home giving the Griffins a 1-0 lead.
“I thought it was on purpose,” Day said. “The first pitch right at me? I just had to shake it off. The slider and curve ball – I felt like I had them going best for me and I worked them early. I don’t know about sharing (the district championship). We are going for it all Thursday.”
Justin Musselman lined pass third with two outs in the bottom of the second inning and Matt Willis was hit but they were left stranded when Rochelle struckout Day.
Damon Scanlan drew a one out walk off Rochelle in the bottom of the fourth, stole second and advanced to third on a pass ball but right fielder Babineaux threw him out at the plate to catcher Cameron Quigley for a double play on Musselman’s fly.
Andrew Suffrin beat out a bunt to open the fifth inning before Matt Smith was ruled inside the baseline on a bunt down the first base line. Catcher Wesley Perkins’ throw hit Smith and runners advanced until the umpires’ ruling. Day walked the next batter but then struck out the next two to end the inning.
“He said our guy was running inside the base line when the ball hit him,” Luquet said. “When you are on the road, those things happen and you have to find a way to overcome it. We just have to go back and regroup.”
Day lined to right with one out in the bottom half and Lewis’ grounder through the center of the infield put runners on the corners but Rochelle struckout Jesse Buratt to get out of the inning.
Perkins' double to the left gap opened the bottom of the sixth inning and Britt Gautreaux’s liner to center plated pinch running Jacob Williams to give Dutchtown a 2-0 lead.
“We didn’t leave too many guys out there,” Schexnaydre said. “We had a few other opportunities but when we had to, we got the hit. I thought it was a well played game by both teams.”
Day hit Suffrin to open the seventh but struckout the next three batters to end the game.