Abbess and Dutchtown cruise to a victory over Hammond

Kyle Riviere
Dutchtown's Dillon Abbess struck out seven Tornados and only allowed one run in four innings of work. Photo by DKMoon Photography.

Dutchtown opened the season with the kind of win they're used to earning--a victory led by strong pitching, solid defense and opportunistic offense.

The result was an impressive 6-3 victory over Hammond in the Griffins' season opener at home in day one of the Stephen Richardson Memorial Tournament.

"We came out and swung the bats and took what they gave us," Dutchtown head coach Chris Schexnaydre said. "We took advantage of a few opportunities, and Dillon (Abbess) went out there and set a good tone for us on the mound. Any time you get a good performance on the mound and you get some good offense early, your guys tend to relax a little more, and it puts pressure on those other guys."

Abbess was certainly one of the key driving forces behind the victory. He is the most experienced returning pitcher in the Griffins' rotation after losing both Austin Bain and Evan Richardson from last year.

Abbess pitched four complete innings. In that time, he struck out seven batters, only allowed one hit and he didn't yield a single run.

He actually started in a little trouble to start the game as Robert Williams led off with a walk and then stole second. However, Abbess bounced back with two strikeouts, and Williams was picked off at second.

Dutchtown then opened things well offensively as Caleb Ricca singled and reached third after a wild pitch. Payton Stafford then brought him home with an RBI single to give the Griffins the 1-0 lead.

They broke the game wide open in the second inning as they put up three runs.

Connor McCrory started things off with a double.

Bailey Braud then walked and when he stole second, the catcher's throw was errant. It allowed McCrory to score.

A sacrifice bunt by Cullen Ballard then allowed Braud to score, and the Griffins' final run of the inning came when Ricca hit a sacrifice fly into the outfield.

The 4-0 advantage lasted until the fourth inning. That's when Dutchtown added another run.

Nick Ourso led off with a single and eventually came home after an Eric Jacobsen wild pitch.

In the fifth inning, the lead swelled to 6-0.

The frame started with a pitching change as Abbess took a seat, and Donovan Goatley took the mound. He picked up where Abbess left off--striking out two Tornados as they went three up, three down.

Dutchtown then went right back to work as Tyler Boeding led the bottom of the inning off with a single. He eventually came home when Braud laid down a beautiful bunt.

With the large lead, Dutchtown began shuffling in pitchers. Hammond was finally able to have a little success from the batter's box.

The Tornados put three runs on the board in the sixth and seventh innings, but the Griffins were able to close things out when they needed.

The Hammond lineup was shut down throughout. They only collected three hits for the entire game and were the victim of nine strikeouts.

"They played well defensively," Schexnaydre said. "They've been working hard at it and when you get good pitching and your pitcher's throwing strikes, it's a lot easier to play defense. Tonight, I think we did a good job on the mound and defensively to get a win."

As for the Dutchtown bats, they came through as well.

Ricca went 2-4 with an RBI. Braud was 1-1 with two walks and an RBI. McCrory was 2-3, and Boeding was 2-4.

Coach Schexnaydre thought it was a nice win to start the season for a team that lacks experience.

"On the mound, we have a lot of guys that don't have any experience, and it's going to be critical down the stretch to piece this thing together one at a time," Schexnaydre said. "So, each time we can go out and have some success and get these guys feeling good about themselves, it's key."

The Griffins had even more success on the mound throughout the weekend.

After beating Vandebilt Catholic 4-3 on Friday night, Dutchtown got a no-hitter from Goatley to beat Hahnville, 3-0.

Though the Griffins were blanked by Destrehan, 2-0, in their final game, they still finished the tournament with a solid 3-1 record.