Gauthier & Amedee fall short of national title

Kyle Riviere
kriviere@weeklycitizen.com
East Ascension's Austin Millet was not just one of Gauthier & Amedee's best hitters but one of their strongest pitchers as well. Photo by Rodrick Anderson

After a summer of dominance and proving to be one of the best teams in the nation, Gauthier & Amedee's magical run finally came to an end Monday just a game away from the American Legion championship.

The team started their run in Sulphur when they beat the Brother-Martin-based Peake squad 9-5 to claim the state title. It punched their ticket to the Mid-South Regional Tournament.

It was there that they made the trip to Little Rock, Ark. They competed with American Legion state champions from Mississippi, Arkansas, Tennessee, Oklahoma and Kansas.

When the dust settled, they were the only team standing. The regional championship win sent them to Shelby, N.C. for the American Legion World Series to see who was the top team in the nation.

In their first game, Gauthier and Amedee erased an early 4-0 deficit to rally and defeat the Petaluma, Calif. team 9-5.

They followed that with another win--this time a 6-5 nail-biter over Wilmington, N.C.

It was then that the boys from Gonzales finally tasted defeat. They were beat soundly by a team in Brooklawn, N.J. that has won two American Legion World Series titles--the last coming in 2001.

The loss put the pressure on Gauthier & Amedee. They were forced to take on Waipahu, Hawaii with zero margin for error. It was win or go home.

They quickly fell down 3-0, but they never went away. East Ascension's Austin Millet cranked out RBI-singles in both the sixth and eighth innings to cut the deficit to 3-2.

But in the top of the ninth, Hawaii extended the lead to 4-2 after Dylan Sugimoto let loose a bases-loaded bunt that sent a runner home.

There was still no quit in Gauthier & Amedee. Down to their final out in the bottom of the ninth, Dutchtown's Robbie Podorsky hit a shot to short that the fielder had trouble handling. Not only did Podorsky beat out the throw to first, but two runs scored to tie the game and send it to extra innings.

The game remained at a standstill until the 12th inning when Hawaii finally broke the tie. A fielding error brought home Tanner Tokunaga to give them the 5-4 lead.

After Gauthier & Amedee failed to answer at the bottom of the inning, Hawaii closed out the victory to come one game closer to the championship. Unfortunately for the team from Gonzales, their run came to an end.

Dutchtown's Cole Stapler, St. Amant's Andre' Liotta and East Ascension's Devin Speligene were strong on the mound--only giving up five hits, but the error in the 12th was a killer.

Podorsky and Millet led Gauthier & Amedee from behind the plate--each finishing with two hits.

The loss capped an amazing season for the Ascension-based team--a year that saw them amass a spectacular record of 48-6-2 and finish as one of the top four American Legion teams in the nation.