Mowing 'em down
Dutchtown didn't get a lot of hits on Thursday night, but they didn't need them.
With batters being walked by the bunches and with Dillon Abbess dominating on the mound, the Griffins were able to cruise to the easy 7-1 win over visiting East Ascension.
"It all starts on the mound. Dillon Abbess was outstanding," Dutchtown head coach Chris Schexnaydre said. "He set a great tempo for us, he dominated the strike zone and we were great defensively behind him. When you can get good pitching, guys always seem to play really well behind you."
The performance of the Griffin defense was just as impressive as the night by Abbess. Other than an error that helped the Spartans score their only run of the game, they were flawless.
The same can't be said about East Ascension. Their pitchers spent much of the game struggling to find the strike zone as they walked seven batters.
"We lost, but no one player or one moment really loses a game," Spartan head coach Mike Toups said. "Dutchtown's a great team--great coaches, great team, great talent, so they were a tough opponent. It was a tough night for us."
Although, things got off to a promising start for East Ascension. In the top of the second inning, Abbess had his one hiccup of the game.
Jake Schexnaydre led off the inning with a single for the Spartans, and Layne Trahan followed with a single of his own. However, it quickly turned into a double and allowed Schexnaydre to score when Justin Martin let the ball roll past him in the outfield.
East Ascension took a 1-0 lead, but it was the last run they would score.
Dutchtown responded quickly. At the bottom of the inning, Evan Richardson led off with a single and got to second after an Austin Millet wild pitch.
It was the start of some major control problems for Millet. He walked Payton Stafford and after another wild pitch, Richardson came in to score and tie the game.
In the third, Aidan Hodges led off with a walk for the Griffins and then reached second after a steal.
Dylan King was then hit by a pitch, and Austin Bain walked to load the bases.
With the bases full, Millet hit Richardson--allowing a Dutchtown runner to come in and give them the lead at 2-1.
It spelled the end of Millet's day on the mound. Nick Purpera then entered the game for the Spartans, but he started his relief appearance the same way Millet ended his day, with another walk to bring in a run.
After the walk-filled third inning, the Griffins led 3-1, but they weren't finished scoring.
In the fourth, Tyler Boeding led off with a single and eventually got to third after a Martin bunt was followed by a throwing error to first.
Hodges then brought Boeding home with a sacrifice fly to extend the Griffin lead to 4-1.
Dutchtown added two more runs in the fifth after Stafford got a leadoff single, and Trey Gallman walked.
Connor Ghere then brought Stafford home with a sacrifice bunt, and Gallman came home after an RBI single by Martin.
The Griffins got their final run in the sixth when Alonzo Craighton led off with single and got all the way to third on a wild pitch.
He then came home to extend the lead to 7-1 after a sacrifice fly by Bain.
Abbess did the rest for Dutchtown. He forced East Ascension to go three-up, three-down in their final two innings and appropriately, he ended the game with two big strikeouts.
It was just a small part of an overall spectacular performance by the junior hurler.
It was a complete-game effort that yielded no earned runs and only three hits. Abbess only walked two batters and struck out 10.
From the plate, the Griffins only gathered six hits, but it was their patience that won them the game as seven batters were dealt their walking papers.
"It's something that has gotten us into trouble before but tonight, we were real patient," Schexnaydre said. "We were able to see some pitches, take advantage of some opportunities that they gave us and we were able to come out on top."
Dutchtown followed the impressive win with yet another overpowering victory over the Spartans on Saturday.
It completed a superb week for the Griffins. After losing a one-run game to defending state champ Catholic on Saturday, they bounced back to beat them 3-1 on Wednesday and then followed it up with two big wins over East Ascension.
"We struggled on Saturday. It was a tough loss for us, and we got on them a little bit," Schexnaydre said. "They came out the next two games expecting to win. That's something we talk about all of the time; you have to come out and expect to win, and I'm not sure we've always done that but I think these last two nights, we came out with an attitude that we were going to win no matter what it takes, and that's what they did."
As for the Spartans, the two straight losses ended a stretch of six straight wins and 10 victories in their previous 11 games.
"If there is anything I know about this group, it's that they're going to bounce back," Toups said.
As for Dutchtown, the two wins gave them six victories in their last seven games. It jumped their district record to 5-1--which ties them with St. Amant for the district lead--and it took their overall record to 18-10.