DUTCHTOWN — The eighth-ranked Dutchtown baseball team may have gotten its nose bloodied a little more than usual during the nondistrict portion of its schedule.
The Griffins lost eight of 19 games, but the experience against some of the state’s best competition apparently served its purpose.
Dutchtown scored in every inning of District 5-5A opener, piled up 16 hits and rode a solid outing from senior pitcher Cole Stapler to a 13-5 victory Thursday over St. Amant at Griffin Park.
“We try and make a challenging nondistrict schedule every year,” Dutchtown coach Chris Schexnaydre said. “We were disappointed and upset. We had some higher expectations, and unfortunately things didn’t go our way.”
Dutchtown (12-8) put it together when it mattered most, exceeding double-digit runs for the fifth time this season and having all but one starter collect one at least one hit with seven registering multiple hits. Ninth-place hitter Grant McCrory (3-for-4) led Dutchtown’s offensive effort, while shortstop Robbie Podorsky (2-5, 3 runs) was one of three players to drive in two runs along with third baseman Austin Bain (2-4) and right fielder Mason Nickens (2-3).
“I felt like with district around the corner the kids would come out ready to play and do the little things,” Schexnaydre said. “Cole also came out with a great tempo to start the game. We got some runs and stacked runs on top of runs.”
Dutchtown took a commanding 9-0 lead after three innings and held off a middle innings charge from St. Amant (13-6) before pulling away with four runs over the final two innings.
Dutchtown turned to its short game, taking advantage of two bunt singles and three St. Amant throwing errors, to build a 5-0 cushion.
Delaune’s slicing double to right field, coupled with a two-base throwing error, resulted in a run that opened the inning, and consecutive bunts from McCrory and Podorsky were the catalysts for two more runs.
Podorsky capped the inning with a steal of third base — his 15th stolen base of the season — and scored on another throwing error.
St. Amant wound up committing an error in all but one inning and finished with 10 for the game, which led to seven unearned runs.
“We got away with it a few games, and this game we couldn’t get away with it,” St. Amant coach Troy Templet said of his team’s defensive lapses. “I told them when you play good people, you can’t get away with silly mistakes like that.”
St. Amant cut into that deficit — making it 9-3 — on a two-run double from Madison Nickens (2-3) and Mitchell Maynard’s run-scoring groundout in the fifth.
Stapler, a Nicholls State signee, improved to 2-1 after allowing five hits, five runs (four earned) with three walks and seven strikeouts over 5.1 innings. Cadin Lawless worked a perfect 1.2 innings in relief, striking out two.
St. Amant got to 9-5 on Blaine Schexnayder’s run-scoring single and Matthew Delaune’s sacrifice fly.
But Dutchtown answered with an unearned run in the fifth and bat around in the sixth to add three more runs, the finale coming on a bases-loaded walk by Lawless.
“You never expect that in a game with these guys because you know they’re always going to ready to play,” Schexnaydre said. “You get excited about a 9-0 score and then they make a run but I was really proud the guys came back and responded.”