Wombats' season ends in state tournament

Kyle Riviere
kriviere@weeklycitizen.com
Despite striking out 13 batters, Brennan Grant and the Wombats were dealt the 1-0 loss to Delhomme. Photo by Kyle Riviere.

After starting the American Legion's Senior Tournament with two impressive victories, Gauthier & Amedee tasted two straight bitter defeats that dashed their hopes of making a second World Series appearance in three years.

The Wombats started the state tournament at New Orleans' Kirsch-Rooney Stadium with victories over Townsend Homes and Refuel. They were overpowering in both wins, taking the two games by a combined margin of 24-4.

The wins pushed them through to the winner's bracket on July 20, where they took on Jesuit-based Retif Oil.

Gauthier & Amedee surged out to a 4-1 lead and led 4-2 heading into the ninth inning.

That's when disaster struck.

Retif exploded for four runs in the inning to take a 6-4 lead. They eventually won by the same score, forcing the Wombats to play Lafayette's Delhomme in an elimination game the next day.

From the very start, Gauthier & Amedee had trouble closing the deal at the plate.

In the first inning, Dutchtown's Caleb Ricca and East Ascension's Tristan Babin had back-to-back singles, but both players were left stranded.

In the second, the first and only run of the game was scored on a balk.

Delhomme loaded the bases after a Hill Babineaux single and back-to-back walks by Tyler Laporte and Richard Hebert.

After Wombat pitcher Brennan Grant (former St. Amant Gator) committed the balk, Babineaux came home to give Delhomme the 1-0 advantage.

The Drillers' Derek Boutin was dominant on the mound, but Gauthier & Amedee had their chances.

The Wombats stranded two more runners in the second and in the fifth, they failed to send St. Amant's Justin Duhon home after he led the inning off with a single.

In the seventh, Gauthier & Amedee had a runner on second with no outs, but once again, they couldn't find a way to put a run on the board.

Because of a wild pitch, Boutin struck out four Wombats in the eighth. That brilliant inning helped put away Gauthier & Amedee as Delhomme clinched the 1-0 victory.

The winning run ended up being the balk in the second inning.

It was a brutal way for Gauthier & Amedee's journey to end, especially for Grant.

Other than the balk, he pitched a gem. Grant went all nine innings while only giving up four hits and the one run. He stuck out 13 batters.

Delhomme went on to play Retif in the state title game. This time around, Delhomme was on the losing end of a 1-0 pitchers' duel as Retif took home the state championship.

Gauthier & Amedee's season ends with an overall record of 17-11. Even though they fell short of a state title and trip to the World Series, the Wombats did win the District 6 championship last month.