Gauthier and Amedee claim American Legion state title

Kyle Riviere
St. Amant standout Madison Nickens was one of Gauthier and Amedee's most dangerous hitters in their title run.
Photo by Rodrick Anderson.

For the first time since 2011, Ascension's Gauthier and Amedee team won the American Legion baseball state championship in Sulphur last week.

They steamrolled through most of the tournament. This included a dominating 15-1 win over the River Ridge Patriots and a 6-3 victory over Otto Candies.

For the most part, things came pretty easily for them until they reached the championship game. There, they fought through a tight contest early to pull away late and beat the Brother Martin-based Peake squad 9-5.

The victory improved Gauthier and Amedee's overall record to a near-perfect 42-3-2.

Heading into the game, Peake was faced with the daunting task of having to beat Gauthier and Amedee not once but twice to claim the title. However, Peake didn't have the same margin for error. They knew that one loss would officially eliminate them from the tournament.

That sense of urgency was clear early on as they hung tough and entered the seventh inning tied at 4-4.

It was there that Gauthier and Amedee finally broke things wide open. East Ascension's second-team All-District 5-5A player Devin Speligene belted out a two-RBI triple.

They rode the momentum and ended the inning with a five-run explosion to take the commanding 9-4 lead. Peake later scored a run, but that's all they would be able to muster. Gauthier and Amedee was able to close out the victory to claim the American Legion state title.

Dutchtown's District 5-5A MVP and honorable mention All-State pitcher Cole Stapler got the win from the mound for Gauthier and Amedee. He gave up nine hits and five runs, but he struck out seven and still found a way to get the job done despite four errors from his defense.

Peake's Corey Gaconi wasn't so fortunate. He was absolutely shelled by the Gauthier and Amedee bats--giving up 15 hits. Peake gave up 19 hits overall.

Dutchtown's Robbie Podorsky was the leader of the hit parade. He showed why he was a first-team all-district performer this past season as he went a perfect 5-5 with two RBIs.

His Griffin teammate Mason Nickens--a second-team all-district outfielder--and Speligene each went 3-5 with two RBIs with another Dutchtown first-team all-district star in Collin Delaune going 3-4 with one run batted in.

First-team All-District 5-5A utility player Austin Bain and St. Amant's second-team all-district infielder Blaine Schexnayder were each responsible for two hits.

For Peake, they were led behind the plate by Jacob Seward--who went 3-5. Blake Battle and Daniel Lahare both collected a pair of hits.

Now with the state championship firmly in their grasp, Gauthier and Amedee is off to achieve more. They're now set for the American Legion Mid-South Regional Tournament.

The tournament will begin today in Little Rock, Ark. It will feature the state champions from Mississippi, Arkansas, Tennessee, Oklahoma and Kansas.