Griffins finish off Destrehan on Lewis’ walk-off double
DENHAM SPRINGS – Dutchtown freshmen second baseman Troy Lewis lined a walk-off three-run double to the right gap in the bottom of the seventh inning to propel the Griffins to a 5-4 come from behind Class 5A quarterfinal playoff victory over District 6-5A nemesis Destrehan Friday night in the LHSAA state tournament at North Park’s A.B. Netterville Jr. Memorial Field.
“We just eliminated a great team right there,” Dutchtown head coach Chris Schexnaydre said. “They don’t have many of them better than them in the state. We played them five times this year and I don’t want to play them again. I am glad they are finished with because they have a great ball club and they have some quality arms. We are happy to move on to tomorrow.”
“We got a little momentum going and guys stepped up and got some big hits. This represents our team. These guys never quit. They have a killer instinct. They have been down many times this year and they just show a lot of fight and courage.”
No. 2 seed Dutchtown (31-5-2) moved on to face 14th seeded C.E. Bryd (27-7) in the semifinals Saturday afternoon.
“We got three or four more guys lined up and a couple of left handed starters,” Schexnaydre said. “We got a lot of confidence in the guys that we got so we will throw them up there and see what they can give us.”
Destrehan ends the season with a 23-13 overall record. It was the fifth meeting between the Griffins and Wildcats this season with Dutchtown claiming two of three during the regular season and a one-game playoff to decide the outright district champion.
“Anytime a team beats you four times in a year, you have to think they deserve to be where they are,” Destrehan head coach Marty Luquet said.
Destrehan jumped out to an early 2-0 lead before increasing it to 4-0 in the fourth.
Dutchtown starting left-handed ace Dillon Day kickstarted a sixth inning rally lining over second. Wildcat starting junior right-hander Kurt McCune hit Alex Millet one out later and walked Jesse Buratt to load the bases after a pass ball. Wesley Perkins lined a two-run single to center field the next at bat to put the Griffins on the board.
Destrehan got of the jam when senior right handed closer Tyree Hunter induced a double play to end the inning.
“It got late and we started to tighten up,” Luquet said. “They got that rally in the sixth and I think that changed the game. It put them within striking distance. Then we came out and hit three on the nose – three bullets right at people – and you start to feel the change.”
Day robbed Patrick Roth in right field before a leaping Millet snatched McCune at short. Junior right-handed closer Buratt then calmly threw to first after taking a shot off his glove from Joshua Rochelle.
Damon Scalan grounded pass second to open the bottom of the seventh and pinch-hitter John Lambert dropped a single to shallow right center. Matt Willis’ sacrifice bunt advanced runners and Destrehan elected to walk leadoff hitter Day to load the bases setting up Lewis’ heroics.
“You are not going to let Day beat you,” Luquet said. “He is their best player. We had handled (Lewis) for four games. They just clutched out. They put that inning together. It was nothing we did.”
After going 0 for 3, Lewis worked a 3-1 count often staring down Tyree before sending the next offering to the wall in the gap.
“I was just thinking this is not pressure,” Lewis said. “This is fun. It is all fun. Just hit the baseball and do it for my team. I knew that if they gave it to me I was going to take advantage of it. I know in my heart I am going to get the job done for my team. We work harder than anybody in the state.”
After Scanlan and pinch-runner Jacob Williams scored, Day racing from first crossed home into a mob of teammates who had emptied the dugout with the winning run.
“What you say about the freshmen,” Schexnaydre said. “He came up in a huge spot and he has done that numerous times before. There is a reason why he is hitting in the two hole. He is a pretty disciplined hitter and took some close pitches in that count but I had a lot of confidence in him right there and I knew he would make a good decision.”
Day struckout out 10 and only walked one in five innings but the Griffins suffered a total of six wild pitches or pass balls and two errors while he was on the hill. Buratt (5-0) got the win in two innings of relief.
McCune struckout six in five 1/3 innings. Tyree (5-4) took the loss in one 2/3 innings of relief.
Shane Babineaux grounded pass short to open the contest before Sam Carriere’s bunt was bobbled. After striking out Roth, a wild pitch put the Wildcats on the board and McCune grounded through the center of the infield to make it 2-0. Rochelle grounded through the left infield but Day struckout Matt Smith to end the inning.
Millet beat out a grounder to short in the bottom half but was left stranded as McCune struckout Buratt.
Babineaux grounded off Day with two outs in the second and Carriere lined to left to put runners on the corners but Day struckout Roth to go unscathed.
Willis reached on an error to open the bottom of the third and Day bunted safely to put runners on but McCune induced a double play and struckout Millet to end the inning.
Smith grounded pass first to open the fourth and Hunter reached on a dropped third strike to put runners on the corners before three consecutive pitches ended up in the backstop to plate two runs. Willis’ backpedaling grab of Carriere’s deep fly on the warning track in left field ended the damage.
The pitchers ultimately faced the minimum in the fifth inning with catcher Roth picking off Willis at first to end the inning after he reached on a fielder’s choice following a walk to Justin Musselman. Dutchtown catcher Perkins threw out pinch running Devin Stewart to Millet at second attempting to steal to end the top half after Day struckout Rochelle.
Andrew Suffrin reached on an error to open the sixth and Buratt walked Babineaux to load the bases after Tyree lined to center but Carriere’s fly prevented further damage.
The fourth and final quarterfinal game of the day was delayed over an hour due to a rainstorm and extra innings in the previous contest. Originally scheduled for 7:30 p.m., Day’s first pitch was not thrown until 8:48 and by the time he crossed home over two hours later, it was past 11 p.m.
“Dillon Day is a complete baseball player,” Schexnaydre said. “He is not only a pitcher and outfielder. He is a hitter and a runner. Even some colleges don’t have the luxury of having kids like that. On the mound tonight, he gave us five great innings. We struggled a little bit defensively early on but he kept plugging away and was able to give way to Jesse who did what he does. I am so proud of them right now.”