Dutchtown outlasts Covington for playoff win

Kyle Riviere
Gonzales Weekly Citizen
Dutchtown pitcher Will Dotter came in and closed the game for the Griffins, leading them to a 6-5 first-round win over Covington.

In the playoffs, it doesn’t matter how you win; it’s just important that you win. It’s all about being able to survive and advance.

Dutchtown did just that on Monday night as they were able to hold off No. 23 Covington, 6-5.

The Griffins jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first inning, and they later led, 6-3. However, the Lions chipped away until they got within one run late.

But in the final two innings, Dutchtown closer Will Dotter was able to come in and finish off Covington, earning the Griffins their first playoff win in three years.

It was a good response by Dutchtown, after suffering through a bit of a skid during the final week of the regular season.

“We lost three of our last four games last week. You start to think that maybe these guys are doubting themselves, but I’m so happy with how the guys came out tonight,” Griffin head coach Chris Schexnaydre said. “We had a lot of guys with zero playoff experience coming into this game. They came out tonight and competed.”

In the bottom of the first inning, Reuben Williams was hit by a pitch. Tanner Vadnais then crushed a double down the left-field line. The speedy Williams was able to score from first base.

Payton Cooper then walked, and Vadnais scored on a sac fly by Will Delaune.

Nathan Monceaux was also walked, as he joined Cooper on base. That set the table for Caleb Ickes, who came up with a two-RBI single to give Dutchtown a 4-0 lead.

Monceaux was the starting pitcher for the Griffins. He cruised to a six-pitch first inning, but he ran into trouble in the second.

He gave up a walk, a single and then a three-run homer that cut the Griffin lead to 4-3.

But Dutchtown responded in the bottom of the frame.

Ethan Mayeux drew a two-outs walk. He then scored following a Lion throwing error on a grounder by Williams. Williams later scored on a passed ball to make it 6-3.

Covington scored a run in the fourth inning, and in the sixth, Monceaux hit a batter and surrendered a single. That ended his night.

In came Dotter to close out the game for the Griffins. One Lion was able to score on a passed ball to make it 6-5, but a terrific leaping catch by Cooper on a line drive to second ended the inning and prevented another run from scoring,

In the seventh, Dotter struck out two Lions to close out the victory.

Monceaux went five and a third innings, giving up six hits and four runs. He struck out four.

Dutchtown won the game, despite having just two hits.

“One of the keys to our success is base-running,” Schexnaydre said. “We run the bases pretty well. Tonight, we had some walks and some hit batters, and we were able to run the bases. Being able to manufacture those runs was huge for us.”

Ickes was 1-3 with two RBIs, Vadnais was 1-1 with two walks and an RBI. Williams scored two runs.

Covington has been a tough matchup for Dutchtown. The Lions beat the Griffins when they met earlier in the year, and their Monday night playoff matchup went down to the wire.

“In our first game against those guys, we were playing in a four-game tournament. We were a little tired, and they beat us,” Schexnaydre said. “I guess in the back of your mind, you have some doubt and wonder if these guys can get us again.

“We heard a lot of good things about their starting pitcher, and he settled in after that first inning and pitched a great game for them. Those guys won a district championship and had some walk-off wins. They know how to win games. Fortunately for us, we were able to stay on top.”