Huge second inning gives Griffins the edge

Kyle Riviere
Gonzales Weekly Citizen

When Dutchtown scored seven runs in the second inning of their Tuesday night matchup with Denham Springs, it looked like they could be on their way to a quick 10-run rule victory.

But that’s not what happened. The Griffins ended up having to hang on for dear life, as Denham Spring scored the final seven runs of the game.

With the tying run standing on third base in the top of the seventh inning, Dutchtown relief pitcher William Dotter was able to come up with a huge strikeout that clinched an 8-7 victory for the Griffins.

“We knew Denham Springs was a quality team and they weren’t gonna quit,” Dutchtown head coach Chris Schexnaydre said. “They got back in the game when we started to rest after the seven-run inning. We didn’t do anything after that, and Denham Springs crawled back in it and had a chance to tie the game late, but our guys settled in and got it done.”

Dutchtown took a 1-0 lead in the first inning. Jack Ballard singled, and he was driven home by a Tanner Vadnais base hit.

The Griffins then exploded for seven in the second.

Will Delaune led off with a single, and Landon Manson joined him on base following a bunt. Delaune later alertly raced home and scored on a pickoff attempt to second base.

Hayden Kibbe then walked, and Jacob Toussel singled to load the bases. Two runs then scored on back-to-back walks by Ballard and Vadnais.

Dutchtown ended the inning with RBI singles by Carter Landry, Delaune and Manson. Landry drove in two runs.

This barrage put the Griffins up comfortably, 8-0. But they would not score again.

Denham Springs cut into the lead in the third.

Jaxson Burch got on leadoff following a Griffin fielding error. He eventually scored on a sac grounder by Gabe Spedale.

Denham Springs scored two more runs when pitcher Brock Barthelemy was called for a balk, and Dalton Diez crushed an RBI double.

Barthelemy then ran into trouble in the fifth inning.

Cade Cole and Spedale both singled, and a run eventually scored on a throwing error to second base. Spedale came home following a wild pitch.

Dotter came in to finish the game on the mound for the Griffins. With Dutchtown up 8-5 in the seventh, he was pushed to the limit.

He surrendered a leadoff walk to Tanner Zeppuhar, and Spedale singled. Zeppuhar then scored on a double by Noah Juan, and Spedale scored on a passed ball.

With two outs and Juan on third, Dotter was able to close out the game by striking out Garrett Sylvest.

Earning the victory from the mound was Barthelemy. He pitched five complete, giving up three hits and three earned runs. He struck out four.

“We’re very inexperienced on the mound,” Schexnaydre said. “We have Brock, Jesse (Miller) and Dotter back. Brock is our guy on Tuesdays. He’ll give us five or six innings, and then we’re able to get Dotter in there to finish it up. On the weekends, we’re going with some guys that don’t have experience. We’re piecing it together, and we’re trying to find a way to win some games.”

From the plate, Vadnais went 1-2 with a walk and two RBIs. Delaune was 2-2 with a walk and an RBI. Manson and Toussel each went 2-3, with Manson driving in a run.

After starting the year off in an 0-4 hole, Dutchtown has now won five of their last seven, including three in a row.

“It’s all about getting reps and experience,” Schexnaydre said. “We have three guys returning in our every-day lineup, but outside of those three guys, we don’t have a lot of guys that have varsity experience. I think we’ll get a little better each night out. The guys are starting to get some confidence and believe in some of the things we’re doing. We’ve been very effective with bunts lately and running the bases, and guys are getting timely hits.”