BASEBALL

St. Amant slides past Dutchtown for fourth straight win

Kyle Riviere @kyleR_sports
St. Amant's Branson Bowen slides past Dutchtown's Robbie Podorsky in the Gators' 13-1 win on Saturday. Photo by Dewey Keller.

The St. Amant Gators had been bullied around all year by parish rival Dutchtown--losing both meetings by scores of 13-5 and 14-2.

Well, on Saturday, they decided to fight back. To avoid going winless against the Griffins for a third straight season, St. Amant walloped them 13-1.

The blowout victory not only ended Dutchtown's 22-game district winning streak and 12-game overall hot-streak, it gave the Gators their fourth straight win.

St. Amant dropped their second game to Catholic earlier in the month by a 9-4 score. It was their third loss in six games. Things appeared to be heading in the wrong direction, but it quickly turned around for the Gators.

They followed the loss with a 6-0 shutout win over archrival East Ascension that Saturday. And three days, they ran past the Spartans again 6-2.

Andre' Liotta picked up the win from the mound while Cole Benoit wreaked havoc from the plate--going 2-3 with an RBI. Ryan Cardinale and Jacob Morales also batted in runs.

Riding the momentum of the two parish wins, St. Amant hosted Catholic last Thursday. They came into the contest 0-2 versus the Bears after the recent 9-4 loss and a tough 10-9 extra-inning defeat last month.

This time around, the Gators got consistent, solid pitching and defense, and the end result was a 4-0 shutout victory.

Austin Tanner looked great on the mound as he collected his seventh win of the year. Branson Bowen and Morales both went 2-2 from the plate with Morales collecting an RBI.

The win proved to be a huge springboard for St. Amant as they traveled to Dutchtown on Saturday to face a Griffin team that had embarrassed them 14-2 just a couple of weeks earlier.

Dutchtown was riding a 12-game winning streak--which included an 11-1 hammering of second-place Catholic.

With two blowout wins over St. Amant already under their belts, the Griffins looked to do much of the same and finish yet another season undefeated against the Gators.

However, that went out of the window right from the start.

St. Amant exploded for three runs right out of the gate, piled on three more in the second and scored an assurance run in the third to race out to a 7-0 lead.

The Griffins could never recover as they uncharacteristically struggled from the plate and the field. Their bats were only able to collect four total hits and defensively, they were set back by three errors.

Already dominating the game at 7-0, St. Amant put the game completely out of reach in the fifth when they erupted for a six-run flurry to put them up 13-0.

Dutchtown finally scored at the bottom of the inning, but it wasn't enough to keep the game alive. With the 12-run lead, the mercy rule took effect, and the Gators were finally able to taste victory over the Griffins.

Connor Millet got the win for St. Amant. It was his fourth of the year. Conversely, Evan Mativi was dealt the loss for Dutchtown--dropping his overall record to 5-2.

The steady Robbie Podorsky got two of the Griffins' four hits as he finished 2-3 for the game. Mason Nickens got another one of Dutchtown's hits and also brought in their only run of the game.

As for St. Amant, they had a hit parade--piling up 13 of them.

Madison Nickens was the catalyst as he went a perfect 3-3 with two RBIs. Bowen went 2-3 with a game-high four RBIs, Kirk Elisar went 2-3 with an RBI and Blaine Shexnayder went 2-2.

The win was the Gators' fourth straight, it pushed their overall record to 22-9 and it also put them at a solid 9-4 mark in the district.

Another win looks to be imminent on Thursday when they go on the road to face a struggling McKinley squad in the season finale.

As for Dutchtown, the loss was their first in the district in over a year. It was their first overall defeat since March 16.

It dropped their overall record to 23-9 but with only two games remaining, they are still a shoe-in as the District 5-5A champion.

With the playoffs just an eyelash away, the Griffins will try to get back in the win-column this Thursday as they travel to Woodlawn.