Wombats compete in state tournament

Kyle Riviere
kriviere@weeklycitizen.com
Dutchtown's Payton Stafford has had one of the Wombats' hottest bats at the state tournament in New Orleans. Photo by Kyle Riviere.

In their quest for a second American Legion World Series appearance in three years, Gauthier & Amedee took to New Orleans' Kirsch-Rooney Stadium for the state's Senior Tournament this week.

Thirsty for another state championship, the Wombats surged to two straight victories to open the action winning by a combined margin of 24-4.

However, a heartbreaking loss in game three put them on the brink of elimination.

The Wombats began action in the state tournament with a Saturday morning matchup against Townsend Homes.

With Dutchtown's Dillon Abbess on the mound, Gauthier & Amedee took the opening lead.

In the top of the second, former St. Amant star Blaine Schexnayder singled and eventually came home after a base hit by Brennan Grant (another former Gator). Grant then scored after a double by Payton Stafford (Dutchtown).

After being shut out by Abbess early on, Townsend finally got things going in the top of the third.

They scored a run in that inning to cut the deficit to 2-1, and in the fourth, they exploded for three runs to tie the game.

The deadlocked contest lasted until the sixth. That's when Gauthier & Amedee took control.

In the sixth and seventh innings, they scored a total of four runs to jump out to an 8-4 advantage. With the comfortable lead, they were able to cruise to a 9-4 victory.

With the win, they moved on to the winner's bracket to play Refuel on Sunday evening.

This one was all Wombats. They dominated every phase in the 15-0 victory.

From the plate, they overwhelmed Refuel pitching with an amazing 19 hits. From the mound, East Ascension's Hayden Adams threw a no-hitter in seven innings of work.

Gauthier & Amedee set the tone for dominance early when they scored six runs in the first two innings.

The first run was scored by East Ascension's Tristan Babin after an RBI single by Stafford.

Former East Ascension standout Luke Lambert then gave the Wombats a 4-0 first-inning advantage with a three-RBI triple.

In the second, Babin and Schexnayder reached base with infield singles and then scored after an errant throw to second.

From there, the route was on as Justin Duhon (St. Amant), Stafford, Adam Tarver (Parkview Baptist), Lambert and Layne Trahan (East Ascension) all came through with RBIs to give the Wombats the 15-0 lead.

With the 10-run rule in place, the game was ended after seven innings.

The Wombats carried the momentum over to Monday night as they faced off against Retif Oil but with one disastrous inning, the Wombats went from undefeated to facing elimination.

Tarver got the start on the mound for Gauthier & Amedee. He escaped trouble early on to keep the game knotted at 1-1 heading into the third inning.

The Wombats used that inning to take control of the game as they erupted for three runs.

Duhon walked, and Caleb Ricca (Dutchtown) and Babin both singled. It allowed Duhon to come home and give Gauthier & Amedee their first lead of the game.

Ricca and Babin then came home on a two-RBI infield single by Grant. It helped the Wombats build a 4-1 advantage.

Tarver continued to control the game from the mound as Gauthier & Amedee clung to the lead through six innings. Retif finally scored another run in the seventh to cut the deficit to 4-2.

The Wombats carried that advantage into the ninth inning. They were just three outs away from victory when Retif rallied for four runs.

They were able to take the lead on a two-RBI triple by Ben Hess.

The huge inning was devastating for the Wombats. After leading for most of the game, they faced a 6-4 deficit.

Down to just three outs, they failed to generate any offense. Gauthier & Amedee tasted defeat for the first time in the state tournament - putting them on the chopping block.

The loss forced them to play Delhomme in an elimination game on Tuesday, a game they loss, 1-0.