Wombats come from behind to defeat Hogs

Kyle Riviere
Former St. Amant Gator and current Southeastern player Zane Zeppuhar. Photo by Kyle Riviere.

After going 3-1 against the Southland Hogs last summer, the Gauthier & Amedee Wombats found themselves 0-2 against them this year, heading into the second game of Thursday night's double-header at Dutchtown.

They were just three innings away from falling to 0-3 as they trailed by a score of 3-1 in the bottom of the fourth. But then the Gauthier & Amedee bats came alive.

The Wombats put some hard hits together, and they were aided by some mistakes by Hog defenders. It turned into a three-run frame that gave the Wombats the lead. They added two more runs in the sixth to salt away a 6-3 victory.

“We know them so well, and it’s such a big rivalry that the games get swung by any big play or big performance," Gauthier & Amedee head coach Marty Luquet said. "We just didn’t hit in the first game. Before that game, we had been swinging the bat well. It’s big because we have to show them that we can beat them. If they had beaten us three times going into our league tournament at the end of the year, it would have been real difficult for us.”

Southland took the first game in the double-header, 5-2.

The Wombats initially had things going for them in game two. Dutchtown's Brayden Caskey led off with a single and successfully stole second. Ascension Catholic's Mason Zeringue then drove him home with a base hit to give Gauthier & Amedee a 1-0 lead.

However, in the second inning, sloppy play by the Wombats put them in a hole.

Starting pitcher Tre' Medine (Ascension Catholic) walked two batters, and the Wombats committed a costly error from the field to load the bases.

It set the table for a two-RBI single and a sac fly for the Hogs to give them a 3-1 advantage.

The game seemed to change in the fourth. Dutchtown's Will Reed came in to relieve Medine on the mound. He didn't allow Southland to score another run.

Meanwhile, in the bottom of the frame, Dutchtown's Cohen Parent led off with a walk, St. Amant's Trey Webb singled and Ascension Catholic's William Dunn loaded the bases following a Hog fielding error.

Another error came when Southland tried to pick off Dunn at first. A badly thrown ball allowed both Parent and Webb to score, tying the game.

Zeringue then drove Dunn home with a single to give the Wombats a 4-3 lead. They added to that advantage in the sixth.

Dunn led off with a bunt single and Caskey walked. Dunn eventually came around to score when Caskey was caught in a pickle between first and second.

Zeringue then doubled. He later scored when Southland committed an error trying to field a Zane Zeppuhar (St. Amant graduate) grounder.

In the seventh, Zeppuhar was brought in to close the game from the mound, and he fell into a bit of trouble as the bases became load.

However, the Wombat defense made some huge plays to close out the game.

Dunn made a sensational leaping, back-handed grab on a line-drive to prevent a hit. He also turned a double-play that ended the contest.

Reed picked up the win from the mound. In relief, he pitched three and a third innings in which he surrendered just four hits, and he didn't give up any runs.

“He pitched well, and he didn’t want to come out, but we had made a plan that we wanted to find a closer. That was an opportunity to use one, but Will was fabulous," Luquet said. "He came in and threw strikes, kept the ball down and kept them off-balanced. He was very successful today.”

From the plate, Zeringue was terrific. He went a perfect 4-4 with two RBIs. The only other Wombat with multiple hits was Webb. He was 2-3.

The win improved the Wombats' record to 10-3 overall.

“We’re playing much better teams this year than we played last year. We’ve played in some better tournaments, and I think that gives us a better idea of what we have," Luquet said. "So, I think we’re further along than we were at this point last year. We won easily in a lot of tournaments last year, and we didn’t benefit from it. Games like today, coming from behind against better teams, that prepares you."