Dutchtown-St. Amant meet for fourth time

Advocate staff photo by ADAM LAUDutchtown's Mason Nickens, left, is met by teammate Austin Bain as he crosses plate earlier this month. Show caption
Advocate staff photo by ADAM LAUDutchtown's Mason Nickens, left, is met by teammate Austin Bain as he crosses plate earlier this month.

Dutchtown-St. Amant meet for fourth time

St. Amant’s a quality team, and we need to make sure we do our job in the three big phases of the game first — and that’s hitting, pitching and defense.” CHRIS Schexnaydre,   Dutchtown baseball coach

Whenever a team faces a rival in the baseball playoffs, there are benefits, like not needing to get a scouting report.

Trying to figure how to gain an advantage can tie some coaches up in knots. Dutchtown High’s Chris Schexnaydre and St. Amant High’s Troy Templet have their own solution.

The coaches for the two Ascension Parish teams say they’ll be focusing fundamentals when No. 15 Dutchtown (25-9) hosts 18th-seeded St. Amant (24-9) for a Class 5A bidistrict playoff game at 6 p.m. Tuesday.

“We don’t need a scouting report because we do know each other,” Schexnaydre said. “Some people put so much into the match-ups, and there are some things you can do with that.

“But if you put too much into it, you can forget about what you really need to do, which is play baseball. St. Amant’s a quality team, and we need to make sure we do our job in the three big phases of the game first — and that’s hitting, pitching and defense.”

The St. Amant-Dutchtown game helps highlight a busy schedule of baseball playoffs in the Baton Rouge area on Tuesday.

Denham Springs (21-8), seeded 14th, hosts No. 19 Captain Shreve (23-11) at North Park in other 5A action.

Teams in Class 4A and below play regional-round games.

Dutchtown (25-9) finished 14-1 and won the District 5-5A title. The Griffins’ lone loss was to St. Amant. After losing to DHS in the first two rounds of district play (by scores of 13-5 and 14-2), the Gators took a 13-1 win April 20.

Templet discounts the notion that the April 20 victory gives his team any advantage.

“I don’t see that (advantage) at all,” Templet said. “What I see is two good teams who are similar and who are going to play for the fourth time this year.

“One of us will win and move on. It will probably come down to pitching, defense and timely hitting.”

Templet’s point about the similarities the two Ascension teams share is notable. There is one pre-game chess match. Dutchtown plans to start Cole Stapler.

Templet hasn’t decided between Austin Tanner, Connor Millet and Andre Liotta.

Austin Bain leads Dutchtown with a .420 average and 36 runs batted in. Robbie Podorsky (.414) and Stapler (.396, 29 RBIs) are other DHS offensive leaders.

Jacob Morales is hitting.444 with 34 RBIs for SAHS. Cole Benoit (.386, 36 RBIs) and Ryan Cardinale (.369) also help lead the Gators.

Playoff redeaux

Denham Springs also faces a somewhat familiar foe. The Yellow Jackets took a 6-5 win over Captain Shreve in an early-season tourney game played at Ruston High. Chance Landry is expected to get the start for DSHS.

“We’re ready to play and expect it to be a good game like the last one,” DSHS coach Mark Carroll said. “It we play defense like we have in our last two games I like our chances.”

Interleague play

Fifth-seeded Parkview Baptist (16-17) won the District 6-3A title. Now the Eagles will host a team from 7-3A, No. 12 St. Charles Catholic (17-14), at 5 p.m. in 3A regional action.

“It’s a good match-up,” PBS coach Darron Mitchell said. “St. Charles has a good program and so do we.”

Junior Gage Pickett will get the start on the mound for PBS.