Griffins outlast Gators in key district clash
Trailing 3-2, St. Amant was down to its last strike on Thursday night against Dutchtown when Slade Zeppuhar crushed a double against the left-field wall that would have been a homer in most ball parks.
Before you knew it, the Gators had the bases loaded with two outs and the opportunity to take their first lead of the game.
But Griffin reliever Will Dotter came in and forced the last out, allowing Dutchtown to take a deep breath and celebrate a huge victory that gave them a two-game lead in the district standings.
Talking about the final inning, Griffin head coach Chris Schexnaydre said, “When (Lee) Amedee was up, I thought it was a big out, because they had some of their guys coming up. He’s a great hitter, and some of the guys coming up were great RBI guys. Zeppuhar put a charge on one on a 3-2 pitch that I thought had a chance. Fortunately, the air was a little heavy tonight, and it stayed in the yard and gave us another opportunity.”
With Nathan Monceaux pitching so well for Dutchtown, the Griffins controlled most of the game.
In the bottom of the second, Payton Cooper and Will Delaune produced back-to-back singles. Cooper eventually scored on a balk, and Delaune came around after a Caleb Ickes sac grounder to give the Griffins a 2-0 lead.
In the third, Ethan Mayeux led the inning off with an infield single and moved to second on a bunt single by Reuben Williams. Mayeux then scored on a Tanner Vadnais RBI single that gave Dutchtown a 3-0 lead.
This advantage lasted until the top of the fifth.
The Gators loaded the bases after Camron Planche and Zeppuhar were both hit by pitches and Amedee singled. The Griffins then committed a fielding error on a Josh Denton grounder that allowed two runs to score.
Clinging to the 3-2 lead in the top of the seventh, Monceaux sat down the first two batters and had two strikes on Zeppuhar when he hit the double. Monceaux then walked Denton and hit Reggie Hebert to load the bases.
But Dotter came in and forced Brayden Kuriger into a fly out.
Monceaux ended up pitching six and two-third innings, surrendering just four hits and no earned runs.
“He’s been great all year for us,” Schexnaydre said. “Our entire staff has done a great job all season. Coach (Troy) Templet has done a great job with our pitchers. Monceaux is a guy we can count on. I think our guys feel like when he’s out there, we have a great chance to win the game, and he did it again tonight.”
At the plate, Vadnais and Ickes were both 1-3 with an RBI for Dutchtown. Mayeux was 2-4. He was the only player in the game with multiple hits.
As for St. Amant, Amedee and Denton were each 1-3 with a walk.
From the mound, Zeppuhar went six full innings, giving up eight hits and three runs. He struck out four.
The victory kept Dutchtown undefeated in district play, while both St. Amant and Catholic have two losses.
“We talked about winning a district championship. It’s been seven years since we won one,” Schexnaydre said. “We have our district championships on the wall of our locker room. I told our guys the other day that I’d love to have this 2021 team on the wall. We have the opportunity. It’s right there for us; we just have to go out and finish the deal. We have five big games left, and we have to show up ready to play each time.”