SHORT 'WALK' HOME: No. 2 Dutchtown take advantage of plethora of walks to advance to Class 5A state tournament over Hahnville

Peter Silas Pasqua
Hahnville catcher Buddy Trauth reacts as Dutchtown’s Dillon Day is greeted by teammates after scoring the game’s first run on a walk during the Griffins’ 8-0 Class 5A regional playoff victory Monday afternoon.

BOUTTE – No. 2 seed Dutchtown scored three runs in the first two innings off seven walks and added four runs in the third to put away Hahnville 8-0 in Class 5A regional playoff action at Tiger Park Monday afternoon and advance to the state tournament beginning Friday at A.B. Netterville Park in Denham Springs.

“We just want to take it one game at a time and today’s game was the most important one,” Dutchtown head coach Chris Schexnaydre said. “If we don’t win today, we don’t get to Friday. The kids were excited and took it one inning at a time and that is how we have to approach it.

“When you get to the playoffs, you take runs any way you can get them. They were opportunities early that we didn’t capitalize on. In the playoffs, you have to take advantage of those opportunities and have to put good teams away.  In the third we did hang a crooked number – a four spot – and it kind of gave us some breathing room.”

Dutchtown (30-5-2) will face No. 7 seed Destrehan (21-11-1) Friday at 7:30 p.m. in the Class 5A quarterfinals. The winner will advance to the semifinals at 2 p.m. Saturday with the Class 5A final scheduled for 7 p.m. Saturday. It will be the fifth meeting between the Griffins and Wildcats.

“Looking at the bracket, it was frustrating just knowing that your next opponent could be Hahnville and then Destrehan,” Schexnaydre said. “To play those guys over and over again is kind of frustrating because they know your hitters as well as you know your hitters. Even though, we beat them two out of three during the year, you always have in the back of your mind –they got us one time and who is to say they can’t do it again.”

No. 18 seed Hahnville ends the season with an overall record of 18-17. A total of 16 batters were walked including 11 by Hahnville pitchers.

“We knew going in it was going to be tough but when you give up 10 walks in two 1/3 innings, you don’t put yourself in a good spot,” Hahnville head coach Kade Rogers said. “They are a good ball club. Any guy we threw out there wasn’t a good matchup. We didn’t have anybody to throw against them and rolled the dice. We struggled early and walked guys in and walked more guys in and another one in. You can’t give Dillon Day a three spot. Plain and simple.”

Dillon Day (10-1) picked up the win for Dutchtown surrendering just three hits while walking walk four and striking out six in six innings. Day’s only loss this season came to Hahnville 4-3.

“Last time we played over here, they got me good, so I had to come out here again and show them what I could do,” Day said. “Early on I was kind of shaky trying to adjust to the umpire and getting used to the strike zone. The heat was brutal. I was just trying to hit my spots early.”

Day has not surrendered a run in two playoff victories, including an 11-0 shutout of Assumption in the bi-district playoffs. He recorded his 100th strikeout of the season pitching out of a bases loaded jam in the second inning.

“I never want to leave a game saying what if we wouldn’t have took him out,” Schexnaydre said. “If they would have happened to come back and snuck up on us and got us, it would have been something I would have to live with the rest of my life.  I know he is our best and as the game got into the later innings, the temperature dropped. He adjusted to the umpire who was calling a low pitch and Dillon located that pitch and started getting ahead of hitters. Once that happened, they started swinging the bats and made it a little easier for us.”

Hahnville starter Jordan Unger hit leadoff hitter Day to open the contest before walking the next three batters he faced to give Dutchtown a 1-0 lead. Third baseman John Gomez had a hand in the next three outs catching two pop ups and stepping on third on a grounder.

Day walked the first batter he faced, Brandon Young, but Ryan Waters grounded into a double play turned by shortstop Alex Millet and Day fielded Dillon Boudreaux’s grounder to get out of the inning after Gomez lined through the left infield.

Unger walked Justin Musselman to open the second inning and Matt Willis grounded off Gomez’s glove before Day’s groundout to first plated a run. Troy Lewis drew a walk and Millet dropped a blooper over short to load the bases off reliever Dan Lanaux, who walked Jesse Buratt to give the Griffins a 3-0 lead.

Day walked Seppe Crovetto and Buddy Trauth with one out in the bottom half before Ryne Robert reached on a bunt to load the bases but got out of the jam striking out Blaise Dempster and forcing a grounder.

Musselman drew a one-out walk to open the third and pinch running Leon Blouin stole second and third before Willis and Day drew walks to load the bases. Lewis lined to right off reliever Justin Zoglio to plate two runs and Millet followed with a liner to left to cross one more. Buratt lined into the shortstop hole to complete the damage giving the Griffins a 7-0 lead. Wesley Perkins lined off the right field wall and Britt Gautreaux drew a walk to load the bases but Zoglio struckout Damon Scanlan to end the inning.

The next 12 batters were retired in order. Dempster lined pass short with one out in the fifth but was left stranded.

Perkins lined a double to the right gap to open the sixth inning and Scanlan dropped a blooper over third to score pinch running Jacob Williams for the final tally after Gautreaux’s sacrifice fly.

Buratt pitched the seventh inning to pick up the save for Dutchtown allowing just one over the minimum on a walk.

Hahnville’s Blaise Dempster is struckout by Dutchtown’s Dillon Day as Wesley Perkins catches in the second inning of the Griffins’ 8-0 Class 5A regional playoff victory Monday.