G&A Wombats earn state tournament berth

Kyle Riviere
Dutchtown's Jack Merrifield threw four shutout innings for the Wombats in their 11-1 tournament victory on Sunday. Photo by Kyle Riviere.

Gauthier & Amedee had to do things the hard way, but they did it.

After losing a five-game series against district foe Southland to end the regular season, the Wombats missed out on an automatic bid to the state tournament. Instead, they would be forced to play their way in with a victory in the regional tourney in New Orleans.

Not only did the Wombats do that, they did it in style, winning three games by a combined score of 28-2.

Their opening game on Saturday was supposed to be at Kirsch-Rooney Stadium, but because of heavy rain, they moved the game to Segnette Field in Westwego.

Gauthier & Amedee started the tournament off with a great win as they rolled past Archbishop Shaw-based Refuel, 5-1.

From the mound, East Ascension's Noah Fontenot was dominant, and from the plate, an early two-RBI single by Dutchtown's Cameron Crawford gave the Wombats all the offense they needed to collect the victory.

The game was scoreless until the second inning when Gauthier & Amedee was able to load the bases.

Crawford, a Nicholls signee, stepped into the box and laced a single that scored both St. Amant's Larson Fontenot and East Ascension's Preston Thrash.

To end the inning, Dutchtown's Brayden Caskey was able to bring another run home on a sac grounder to give Gauthier & Amedee a comfortable 3-0 lead.

That lead was all Noah Fontenot needed.

Up 5-0 in the seventh inning, Refuel scored their only run of the game when Justin Oestriecher walked, reached third after two groundouts and then scored on a passed ball.

Though he scored, Refuel couldn't continue the rally, as Fontenot shut them down to pick up the victory.

Fontenot earned the complete-game win. In seven innings of work, he struck out an amazing 15 batters and only allowed a single hit. He fanned every single batter in Refuel's lineup at least once.

From the plate, Crawford led the way with a 2-4 effort with two RBIs.

Caskey was 1-3 with an RBI, and Larson Fontenot went 1-2.

The victory pushed the Wombats through to the winner's bracket game on Sunday evening against De La Salle-based Best Chevrolet. For this game, action moved back to Kirsch-Rooney Stadium.

Gauthier & Amedee was at the top of its game. They cruised to an emphatic 11-1 blowout victory.

The Wombats jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning when St. Amant’s Ivan Prejean came through with a two-RBI single.

They added a run in the third, taking a 3-0 advantage into the fourth inning. That’s when the Wombats brought down the hammer with a seven-run flurry.

Thrash and Dutchtown’s Jack Merrifield each drove in runs with doubles, Crawford sent a run home on a single, St. Amant’s Zane Zeppuhar scored on a walk and Larson Fontenot came up with a sac grounder.

With the 10-0 lead, Gauthier & Amedee was able to cruise to the five-inning blowout victory.

Heading into the tournament, first-year head coach Marty Luquet said that Merrifield had been pitching well, and that didn’t change over the weekend.

Merrifield collected the win from the mound on Sunday as he pitched four shutout innings, only surrendered one hit and struck out four batters.

The Gauthier & Amedee bats piled up 11 total hits.

Crawford was the catalyst with a 3-4 effort that yielded two RBIs. Prejean was only 1-1 with a walk, but he drove in four runs.

Merrifield was 2-4 with two RBIs.

In Tuesday’s matchup, it took just five innings for the Wombats to dispose of Pedal Valve, 12-0, to punch their ticket to the American Legion State Tournament.

St. Amant pitcher and recent Southeastern commit Dwain Guice was superb as he pitched five complete innings, only giving up one hit and striking out four batters.

Larson Fontenot was 3-3 with four RBIs, while Thrash went 2-3 with three runs batted in. Ascension Catholic’s Nick Bellina was 1-2 with a walk and two RBIs.

Not only did the win advance Gauthier & Amedee to the state tournament, it moved them into the regional tournament championship game tomorrow.