Gator comeback upends highly-ranked Jesuit

Kyle Riviere
St. Amant's Brock Bowen went 3-4 with a homer and five RBIs against Jesuit in the Gators' 8-7 win. Photos by DKMoon Photography.

The "Grinders" are back.

St. Amant may have lost most of their starters from last season, but they still know how to grind out close wins.

To start the Jay Patterson Shootout last Friday night, the Gators erased a 4-0 deficit to highly-ranked Jesuit with great plate performances by Adam Sevario and Brock Bowen and an excellent relief appearance by Davin Cummings.

Jesuit came into the game as one of the most hailed teams in the state, but the grit of the Gators earned the scintillating 8-7 comeback victory.

"I have to be honest; I'm surprised. That's a quality team over there, very solid year in and year out," St. Amant head coach Troy Templet said. "They came in 9-1, and we didn't start out too well. We were in the doldrums a little bit.

"We changed pitchers in the third inning, and Davin Cummings pitched out of a couple of bad spots, and it kind of got our kids fired up, and we had that big inning with the two home runs. I'm real proud of my kids."

With Hunter Bertrand struggling with his control, the Blue Jays were able to score two runs in each of the first two innings to take a quick 4-0 lead. During that time, Jesuit collected six hits.

With the game teetering on s blowout, St. Amant finally found some success.

Jesuit's 6-foot-5 hurler Sean Bretz had been almost un-hittable, but he struggled against the Gator sluggers.

After Bretz walked the leadoff batter, Sevario sent him home with an RBI single to trim the deficit to 4-1.

Cummings came in to pitch in the third and instantly gave St. Amant a spark from the mound. Meanwhile, the Gators got another run at the bottom of the inning.

Bowen singled, and he came home with an RBI double by Tyler Dixon.

Trailing 4-2, St. Amant exploded for five runs in the fourth to take their first lead of the game.

Sevario set the tone as he led the inning off with a solo homer over the wall at right-center.

Justin Duhon then got on after a Jesuit fielding error. He eventually stole second.

Slade Gaudin walked--forcing the Blue Jays to make a pitching change. They brought in Logan Hourning.

Bowen quickly introduced himself to the new pitcher as he crushed a three-run blast over the wall at left-center to give St. Amant a 6-4 lead.

Jesuit would strike back in the top of the sixth inning.

They finally put some pressure on Cummings. Harrison Daste led off with a double, and Alex Galy walked.

Dixon then took over on the mound for the Gators, but he quickly ran into trouble. Scott Crabtree walked to load the bases, and Trent Forshag came through with a two-RBI double to tie the game.

St. Amant quickly responded in the bottom on the sixth as Sevario led the inning off with an infield single and reached second on a Duhon bunt.

Bowen went right back to work as he nailed an RBI triple. It gave the Gators a 7-6 lead heading into the final frame.

Jesuit continued to stay alive. Ben Hess led off with a walk, and he eventually came home on a bunt by Daste.

After Galy got on with a walk, things looked bleak for St. Amant, but they escaped with a pretty double-play.

With the game tied in the bottom of the seventh, Dixon led off with a single. A pinch-hitting Ivan Prejean collected a single to put runners at the corners with just one out.

That's when Brock Gonzales came to the plate. Gonzales was 0-3 with two strikeouts, but he came through when St. Amant needed him. He drilled a walkoff shot into centerfield that scored a run and earned the Gators the 8-7 win.

The game turned around once Cummings took his turn on the mound. The Blue Jays could only muster two hits against him. Jesuit had six hits in the first two innings but only three after that point.

As for St. Amant, Sevario and Bowen had seven hits and seven RBIs between them. Severio went a perfect 4-4 with a home run and two RBIs. Bowen went 3-4 with a homer and five runs batted in.

"They had a very solid night. That's our one and three-hole," Templet said. "In that big inning, Sevario hit a bomb--which he doesn't really do--and it got everybody pumped up. Brock had some solid contact all game long."

Dixon also chipped in by going 2-4 with an RBI.

The win improved the Gators to 6-4 after a rough trip to a tournament in Monroe, where they went just 1-3.

"We're young; we're inexperienced. With that combination, we're just trying to find our way," Templet said. "I'm hoping this will spur us into a good little run right here."

The Gators beat Rummel, 8-1, on Saturday morning before closing the tournament with back-to-back losses to Shaw and Brother Martin.