St. Amant comeback falls short against Walker
After being down 7-0, St. Amant actually had the winning run at the plate against Walker in the seventh inning of Tuesday night's game.
The Gators had two men on with no outs, trailing 7-5.
Unfortunately for St. Amant, the comeback fell short. The two St. Amant base-runners, who would have tied the game, were both stranded as Gator hitters suffered three straight strikeouts.
A contest that looked like it was heading toward a 10-run-rule defeat for St. Amant turned into a heartbreaking loss for the Gators.
"I think we had some quality at-bats, and we loosened up a little bit at the plate," St. Amant head coach Brandon Bravata said. "They weren't pressing us as much. Every team has some weaknesses, and we certainly do as well. When we're able to put everything together, we're pretty good. In the last few games, some of our weaknesses have shown.
"We just have to show that we can overcome those things and not fall apart when there's pressure put on us. But I want to give credit to Walker. That's a good baseball team, and hopefully, we'll see them again down the road."
The first four innings were tough for the Gators.
St. Amant ace Slade Zeppuhar started the game from the mound, but Walker got to him early and often. In the first, the Wildcats came up with four hits and scored two runs.
In the third, a walk and three more hits by Walker stretched the lead to 5-0. That's when Zeppuhar's night ended from the mound. Dallas Moran came in, in relief.
Moran pitched well, but he did struggle in the fourth. In that frame, he walked two batters, hit another and Walker produced two RBIs to stretch the lead to 7-0.
At the bottom of the inning, St. Amant finally got something going offensively.
Josh Denton led things off with a triple, and he eventually scored on a throwing error following a grounder by Alex Hebert. Hebert was later driven in by a Cole Poirrier single to make it 7-2.
In the fifth inning, Lee Amedee tripled, and he was sent home with a double by Zeppuhar to make it 7-3.
In the sixth, the Gator bats stayed hot.
Leadoff batter Blake LeBouef was hit by a pitch, and Poirrier doubled. LeBouef then scored following a single by Camron Planche. Poirrier came home following a Wildcat throwing error.
The Gators cut the deficit to 7-5 heading to the final inning.
Zeppuhar was the leadoff hitter, and he was hit by a pitch. Denton joined him on base following a walk.
But St. Amant couldn't take advantage. The next three Gator batter struck out, leaving the two tying runs stranded on base.
In the loss, Poirrier was the only St. Amant player with multiple hits. He went 2-3 with an RBI. Denton was 1-2 with a triple and two walks.
In relief, Moran threw three and two-third innings. He yielded just three hits and two runs, and he struck out four batters.
Despite the loss, Coach Bravata was optimistic with the way his team battled back late.
"We haven't been playing our best baseball of late, but I leave this game feeling a little better than when we came in, because we finally showed some signs of fight," Bravata said. "We were in a lull, and I think we got out of that tonight. So, I'm excited moving forward. I know that 5A baseball and the teams we're playing are super competitive. We're going to lose some games, and we're going to win some tight games. We just have to make sure we move forward and keep fighting."