Gators erase four-run deficit, beat Griffins in nine

Kyle Riviere
The St. Amant bats produced 11 hits in their 6-5 victory over Dutchtown on Thursday. Photo by Tammy Gaudin.

Dutchtown lost an extra-innings district clash to East Ascension last Tuesday, and two days later, they lost to the Spartans in another heartbreaker in which they blew a 6-0 lead.

Unfortunately for the Griffins, the two methods of anguish were combined a week later in their fourth straight league defeat, this one coming against parish rival St. Amant.

Dutchtown held a 4-0 lead over the Gators heading to the fifth, just to see the lead dwindle away. The game eventually went to nine innings, where St. Amant captured a 6-5 victory with a walkoff RBI single by Gant Gautreaux.

"We had quality at-bats, and we kept grinding at it,” Gator head coach Troy Templet said. “We kept telling them that it's a seven-inning game, and it looks like we finally figured that out today. We had some clutch, timely hits with two outs and two strikes, and that gives you a lot of energy when that happens.”

Dutchtown came out swinging.

In the first inning, Brayden Caskey had a leadoff single, and he came around to score on an RBI double by Cole Morrison.

Morrison eventually scored on a Jack Merrifield sac grounder to give the Griffins a 2-0 lead after one.

They added to that advantage in the third after Jordan Badame singled and Merrifield brought him home with an RBI single.

In the fifth, Badame and Merrifield were at it again. Badame reached base with an infield single, and he eventually scored on a beautiful bunt by Merrifield.

Down 4-0 with the bases loaded, Aaron Delaune came in to pitch. Behind him, Alex LeBourgeois made a diving stop from second base to get the third out.

That web gem prevented two Griffin runs from scoring and fed momentum to the Gators.

They loaded the bases to begin the bottom of the fifth with a walk from LeBourgeois and singles by Ayden Phillips and Myles Murray.

Landen Lieux and Zane Zeppuhar then came up with back-to-back RBI singles. With the bases still loaded, Gautreaux was walked to send another runner home.

Delaune then came up big at the plate as he produced a two-RBI single that gave the Gators their first lead of the game at 5-4.

Down to their final three outs in the seventh, Layton Lee gave Dutchtown a chance as he got on leadoff with a St. Amant throwing error.

Lee eventually came around to score on an infield single by Cohen Parent. It sent the contest into extra innings.

In the bottom of the ninth, Reed Babin came up with an infield single for the Gators, and he reached second following a Griffin throwing error.

It set the table for Gautreaux, who sent a single right over second base. Reed came in to score, giving St. Amant the exhilarating 6-5 victory.

Deluane was huge off the bench for St. Amant. In relief, he pitched five innings in which he surrendered just three hits and zero earned runs. From the plate, he went 2-2 with two RBIs.

“Aaron Delaune came in and was outstanding on the mound and had two big clutch hits for us coming off of the bench,” Templet said. “The kid always gives me the look I want to see. I know I'm going to get his 100 percent every time, and it was nice to see him have success like that tonight."

Lieux was 3-5 with an RBI, and Gautreaux was 1-3 with a walk and two RBIs.

The Griffins were led by Merrifield—who went 2-5 with three RBIs. Caskey went 3-5, and Badame was 2-3 with two walks.

The loss was the eighth straight for Dutchtown. Six of those defeats have come by two runs or less.

Meanwhile, after suffering through a stretch of eight losses in 10 games, St. Amant has now won back-to-back district contests.

"It's big for us. We're trying to show them what it takes to win ball games,” Templet said. “In the stretch that we were in, you start doubting yourself. We're still growing. We still didn't do everything perfect today mentally, but it was nice to see the things we worked on actually come into play, and they did well in big-time situations tonight."