Gauthier Amedee heads into state tournament

Kyle Riviere
Gonzales Weekly Citizen

This week, the Gauthier Amedee Wombats are attempting to prove that they’re the dominant American Legion franchise in Louisiana.

Gauthier Amedee enters the state tournament in New Orleans, seeking a second straight state championship victory. It would also be the Wombats’ third state title in the past four years.

All of the action began on Friday. The tournament will culminate with the title game being played on Wednesday, July 14—weather permitting.

The Gauthier Amedee Wombats

It’s been a bit of a disappointing season for the Wombats due to the consistent rain that has fallen in the region throughout the summer. It has forced Gauthier Amedee to cancel many of their games.

The Wombats only headed into the state tournament having played 18 contests in 2021. In those games, Gauthier Amedee went 12-5-1.

The team is fresh off of a trip to Columbia, Tenn., where it went 2-2 at the Independence Day Classic tournament.

The Wombats only lost to three instate teams this summer. Those defeats came against Retif Oil (5-2), the Louisiana Nationals 18U (9-6) and the Southland Hogs (8-3).

Heading into the state tournament, the Wombats are led at the plate by a former Gator all-district player in Reese Lipoma. Lipoma is one of the team’s top producers in multiple offensive categories.

Lipoma has the team’s best batting average at .480, he has scored the most runs with 31 and he is third on the team in RBIs with 12.

St. Amant’s Slade Zeppuhar is second on the team in batting average at .396, he ranks second in RBIs with 22 and he’s tied for second with Dutchtown’s Hayden Kibbe in runs scored with 15.

From the mound, Zeppuhar is 3-1 with 15 strikeouts in 18.2 innings pitched.

Dutchtown’s Will Delaune ranks third on the team in batting average at .373, and he leads the squad in RBIs with 27.

St. Amant alum Teddy Webb has been the team’s most consistent starting pitcher. Webb has a 2.69 ERA, and he has piled up 32 strikeouts in 26 innings pitched.

St. Amant’s Jayden Guidry is 4-1 with a 1.61 ERA, and Dutchtown’s Gabe Villavaso has an ERA of 1.31 with 17 strikeouts in 16 innings.

The Wombats will try to duplicate 2020’s perfect state tournament run.

In pool play, Gauthier Amedee demolished Gulf Coast, 21-2, and then slipped by the Bill Hood Titans, 2-1.

In the quarterfinals, the Wombats rolled past the St. Landry Indians, 6-2. In the semifinals, they beat Retif Oil, 4-1.

And to earn the state title, Gauthier Amedee made it look easy against the Bill Hood Titans, 8-2.

The American Legion State Tournament will be played at Kirsch-Rooney Stadium in New Orleans.

If Gauthier Amedee takes the state title, it will be the franchise’s fourth state crown since 2013.

A victory would also advance the Wombats to the regional tournament, where a World Series berth would be up for grabs.

The Wombats opened the tournament with a 1-0 victory over the Gibbs Construction Cardinals (formerly Pedal Valves) on Friday.