Big inning carries Dunham past Northlake

The Dunham School only needed one big inning to advance in the Class 2A baseball playoffs after a day of adventure.

Dunham, the No. 12 seed, went to Covington to face No. 5 Northlake Christian. When that field was deemed unplayable, the two teams went to Dunham and the game started at 7:41 p.m. Tuesday.

Steady pitching from Dunham senior ace Ryan May (9-2) kept Northlake hitters off balance and Dunham scored all six runs in the second inning to take a 6-3 regional playoff victory.

May tossed his second complete game in the playoffs and struck out 10 with just two walks.

“It was fantastic,” Dunham coach Joey Thibodeaux said. “We finally put up that big offensive inning. The last few weeks we had been leaving a lot of people on base. May just took control and pitched seven innings of great ball.”

Dunham (22-11) scored six runs on just three hits in the second. Two batters walked and two were hit by pitch. Northlake pitcher Tyler Schwaner struggled with his control and threw four wild pitches in the inning.

Patrick Ivey and Alex Duhe pushed across runs with RBI singles. Ivey, Alex Duhe and Josh Ellis scored from third on wild pitches, and Kyle Duhe drove in the sixth run with a sacrifice to right field.

“We had great base running that inning and some clutch hits and good at bats,” Thibodeaux said. “It was a total team inning. Alex Duhe battled for 12 pitches and got a hit.”

Dunham smashed eight hits. Peyton Finical, Kyle Duhe and Ivey led the Tigers with two hits each.

Schwaner settled in as the game progressed and had seven of his eight strikeouts in the final four innings.

Northlake scored two runs in the second as Ruston West and Greg Mula smashed RBI singles.

Northlake added a run in the fifth to cut the deficit to 6-3. Dave Landry hit a sacrifice fly to score Schwaner, who doubled.

Northlake (27-5) sent just three batters to the plate in both the sixth and the seventh. May had three strikeouts and forced a groundout and two flyouts. Rightfielder Ivey made a diving and sliding catch for the second out in the seventh.

Greg Mula and Charles Craighead, who tripled in the third, had two hits each for Northlake.

“I think about an hour after the game when we sit down and realize what we did, we’ll be mentally fatigued,” Thibodeaux said. “I thought both teams, considering the conditions and the travel, competed really well. It’s easy to lose focus when you’re not sure you’re going to play. I was proud that my kids stayed focus, and we’re back in the quarters for the third straight year.”

Dunham battles the Sterlington-University winner. Those teams are scheduled to play at 4 p.m. Wednesday