Gator bats stymied in opening-night loss to Cubs

Kyle Riviere
Lathan Bourgeois had one of just two hits for the Gators in their 5-1 loss to University. Photo by Kyle Riviere.

St. Amant lost most of their best hitters from a 2018 team that reached the state quarterfinals. This included all-district performers such as Southeastern signee Zane Zeppuhar, Landen Lieux and Reed Babin.

Their absence was felt in the Gators' season opener against University Lab on Thursday night. Playing the Cubs at home in the Stephen Richardson Memorial Tournament, St. Amant's batters had no answer for pitcher Dylan Carmouche. He limited the Gators to just two hits and one run. It was enough to give the 2018 Division-II runners-up a 5-1 victory.

“Their pitcher, Carmouche did an excellent job on the mound and at the plate," St. Amant head coach Troy Templet said. "He really brought it to us today. He’s an over-the-top lefty that’s long and tall, and we definitely had trouble with him.”

Returning all-district hurler Teddy Webb got the start on the mound for the Gators. He pitched well, but he had a bit of a rough second inning.

Derrek Lathon led off the frame with a single, and Ethan Butler came up with a base hit of his own. Later, Aleksander Popov laid down a sacrifice bunt that scored a run.

When it looked like the Gators were about to escape any further damage, Will Stafford drew a two-outs walk. It set the table for a two-RBI double by Carmouche that put the Gators in a 3-0 hole.

“We could have made a play at second to keep them out of scoring position, and we went to first with it," Templet said. "Those things happen, but they came up with some clutch hits in that inning. They had a two-outs base hit that scored two runs.”

Webb was able to settle down after the rough inning, and it was still 3-0 heading to the bottom of the fourth.

There, Lathan Bourgeois got on base after being hit by a pitch. He was then able to get to third after Trey Webb came up with a double, the Gators' first hit of the game.

Bourgeois eventually scored on a sac grounder by Rhett Melancon. However, St. Amant ended the inning with two men stranded on base.

The Gators were only down 3-1 heading to the sixth, but that's when the game got away from them.

Brady Kunefke came in to pitch, and he immediately gave up back-to-back singles from Lathon and Lance Wade.

Popov then drove one run home with a single, and another run scored on a sac grounder by Carmouche.

The 5-1 lead was more than enough for University to cruise to victory.

Carmouche feasted on both Gator pitching and hitting.

From the plate, he went 3-4 with three RBIs. From the mound, he pitched six complete innings in which he only surrendered two hits and one one. He struck out 12 batters.

Teddy Webb pitched five complete. He gave up six hits and three runs, while striking out five Cubs.

The Gators' only two hits of the game came from Bourgeois and Trey Webb. Their only RBI came from Melancon.

“We just need to gain some experience and learn from our mistakes and from the things that we do well," Templet said. "In the end, it’s just game one, so we’ll move on.”