Gators’ season ends with extra-inning loss

Kyle Riviere
Gonzales Weekly Citizen
St. Amant second baseman Josh Denton.

St. Amant had chances to punch its ticket to the second round of the playoffs on Tuesday evening, but the Gators could never come up with the big hit in the big moments.

The Gators had two men on in the bottom of the seventh with a chance to capture victory, but they couldn’t drive the winning run home.

In the bottom of the eighth, trailing, 5-4, they had the bases loaded. Unfortunately, they suffered the same fate from the seventh. They failed to drive in a run. It resulted in a heartbreaking extra-inning loss to Captain Shreve.

“We had a lot of opportunities that we didn’t cash in on,” St. Amant head coach Brandon Bravata said. “Give credit to their starter. I thought he did a great job of mixing up his pitches. He came back strong after that first inning, when he could have really let it spin out of control a little bit. Kudos to them. We just didn’t capitalize on our chances today.”

The Gators took the lead in the first inning.

Lee Amedee led off with a single, and then Slade Zeppuhar laced a double down the left-field line that allowed Amedee to score from first base.

Captain Shreve tied the game in the top of the third, and in the fourth, they took a 2-1 lead, but the Gators responded in the bottom of the frame.

St. Amant loaded the bases when both Brayden Kuriger and Cole Poirrier were hit by pitches and Camron Planche came up with a bunt single. Kuriger eventually scored on a sac grounder by Blake LeBouef, but the other two Gator base-runners were stranded.

Captain Shreve took a 3-2 lead in the sixth. In the seventh, St. Amant was down to its final three outs.

LeBouef and Aaron Day both walked, and LeBouef eventually scored on a passed ball to tie the game.

Zeppuhar was then intentionally walked, but the Gators couldn’t drive home him or Day. This forced the game to go to an extra inning.

In the top of the eighth, St. Amant pitcher Dallis Moran was pitching well and had one out, when the officials made an extremely controversial decision. They found Moran to be guilty of a uniform violation. They ejected him from the game for wearing a bracelet.

Reed Brignac had to come in to replace him on the mound, and Captain Shreve proceeded to get three hits, which resulted in two runs.

Trailing 5-3 in the bottom of the eighth, St. Amant loaded the bases with walks by Kuriger, Planche and Alex Hebert.

Hebert scored on a sac fly by LeBouef, and Day was hit by a pitch to load the bases once again.

That brought up Amedee, but he grounded out, ending the game and the season for the Gators.

Zeppuhar pitched well in the loss. He went six innings and gave up eight hits and three runs. He struck out nine batters.

St. Amant struggled from the plate. The Gators had just three hits. Both Zeppuhar and LeBouef went 1-3 with a walk. Zeppuhar had one RBI, and LeBouef drove in two runs and scored another.

The Gators accomplished a lot in Bravata’s first full year. They won well over 20 games and finished as they District 5-5A runners-up

“We had 26 wins. I thought we overachieved throughout the regular season—getting a ninth seed and a home game for the playoffs,” Bravata said. “We’re very proud of those things. We just have to take a step forward next year. We have to keep moving forward in the way we do things. I’m very proud of what we accomplished this year.”