Wombats get one win closer to state tournament

Kyle Riviere
Preston Thrash comes home during Gauthier & Amedee's 5-2 Wednesday night victory over Southland. Photo by Kyle Riviere.

After dropping the first game of a double-header, Gauthier & Amedee needed a win over Southland to keep their hopes of a state tournament berth alive, and behind a complete-game effort by Dutchtown's Jack Merrifield on the mound, they did just that.

The Wombats dropped the first game, 5-2, to the Hogs, but they quickly bounced back with a 5-2 victory of their own to end the day.

"Certainly, the pitching performance was really good, but our pitching performance in the first game was good, too," first-year Wombat head coach Marty Luquet said. "We made some plays, and most importantly, we got ahead and were able to play with a lead.

"In the two losses, we got behind early, and they took away some of the things we could do, and they were able to do the things they like to do--which is run bases and bunt. I felt like we controlled the game better in the second game."

Although, Southland took the lead right out of the gates.

In the top of the first, they produced a leadoff infield single, and the runner eventually scored on an error at home.

The Wombats promptly answered in the bottom of the inning.

Dutchtown's Cameron Crawford led off with a walk and was eventually brought home on an RBI single by St. Amant's Ivan Prejean.

Gauthier & Amedee took the lead in the second.

East Ascension's Preston Thrash got on leadoff after a Southland fielding error, and he eventually came home following an infield RBI single by Ascension Catholic's Nick Bellina.

Clinging to the 2-1 lead in the bottom of the fifth, Dutchtown's Reid Bouchereau struck out, but the ball got past the catcher, allowing Bouchereau to get to first safely, and Merrifield scored.

After Southland cut it to 3-2 in the sixth, the Wombats landed the knockout blow in the bottom of the inning.

Crawford and Dutchtown's Brayden Caskey both walked. Caskey was sent home on a sac grounder by St. Amant's Zane Zeppuhar, and Crawford scored on an RBI single by Merrifield.

It gave the Wombats a comfortable 5-2 lead that they were able to hold.

Merrifield pitched a complete game from the mound. He struck out eight batters, only allowed three hits and both Hog runs were unearned.

From the plate, he had one of Gauthier & Amedee's four hits, drove a run home and scored a run of his own.

Prejean was 1-2 with an RBI and two walks.

The victory evened their record to 2-2 against Southland. The two will play again on Sunday. The winner will advance to the American Legion State Tournament.