Wombats all set for delayed state tournament

Kyle Riviere
Gauthier & Amedee infielder Trey Webb (St. Amant). Photo by Kyle Riviere.

The Gauthier & Amedee Wombats are chomping at the bit to take home a second straight state championship, but thanks to Mother Nature, they had to wait an extra week to do so.

The Wombats were all set to compete in the American Legion Louisiana State Tournament in New Orleans last week, but Hurricane Barry threw a monkey wrench into those plans.

While the storm brewed in the Gulf of Mexico as a tropical depression, it drenched New Orleans with as much as seven inches of rain in some areas. The heavy rainfall caused flooding in parts of the city.

As the storm closed in on Louisiana and the projections had it passing through Southeast Louisiana over the weekend, American Legion state chairman and director Sidney Parfait announced that the state tournament would have to be postponed.

In a released statement, Parfait said, "In the interest of safety, the 2019 American Legion State Tournament has been postponed until July 19-24. I know this is an inconvenience, but we cannot have people traveling in this kind of weather."

With the move, the tournament will now begin on Friday. The state title game will take place next Wednesday. The tournament is held at Kirsch-Rooney Stadium.

In addition to Gauthier & Amedee, there are nine other teams that will be competing for the Louisiana state title. They are: the Southland Hogs, the Crowley Millers, the St. Landry Bank Indians, Retif Oil, the Bill Hood Titans, the Pedal Valves Cardinals, the Otto Candies, Townsend Homes and ES&H.

The Wombats took home the Louisiana state title last season. It was their first American Legion state championship victory in three years.

In the title game, they defeated Retif Oil (Jesuit). The Wombats went on to take the regional championship, punching their ticket to the World Series. There, they made a run to the semifinals, before finally being eliminated.

In the first round of this year's state tournament, Gauthier & Amedee will face the St. Landry Bank Indians. They squeaked by the Indians, 7-6, in last year's semifinal round.

Against the teams in this year's state tournament field, the Wombats went 4-3 this summer. They played the Southland Hogs the most. They met them four times, going 2-2 in those matchups.

The Wombats are 23-6 heading into the state tournament.

Their top hitter is former St. Amant Gator and current player at Southeastern Zane Zeppuhar. He is batting .431 with five home runs and 40 RBIs. He leads the team in all three statistical categories.

Dutchtown's Landon Manson is hitting .423 with 23 RBIs, and East Ascension's Grant Griffin is hitting .375. He has driven in 20 runs.

For pitching, both Teddy Webb (St. Amant) and Brock Barthelemy (Dutchtown) lead the team in victories with four.

With a minimum of 15 innings pitched, East Ascension's Blaise Foote leads the team in ERA at 1.10. Barthelemy is next in line at 1.16, and Webb has the third-best mark at 1.53.

Former St. Amant player Dwain Guice leads the team in strikeouts with 35.