SUPLHUR — Austin Tanner scattered six hits, and Madison Nickens blasted a three-run triple in the bottom of the second to help Southeast Region champion Gauthier & Amedee run away with a 15-1 victory over the River Ridge Patriots on the first day of the American Legion state baseball tournament.
Tanner struck out five in a game which was called after seven innings because of the mercy rule at McMurry Park. With the win, Ascension Parish-based Gauthier (38-2-2) advances to play Hahnville’s Otto Candies on Sunday at 3:30 p.m. Defending state champion Retif Oil, a Jesuit-based team, meets the winner of Saturday’s late game between the Crowley Millers and Brother Martin’s Peake BMW.
Coach Justin Morgan’s Gauthier team collected 13 hits and scored 11 runs in the fourth inning to break open the game against the John Curtis-based Patriots. Nickens’ triple powered a four-run second inning for a Gauthier team that features players from Dutchtown, St. Amant and East Ascension.
“Austin just did what he does, which is throw strikes and let his defense work behind him,” Morgan said. “We were patient at the plate and got some good swings. Madison’s triple helped break things open for us. We hit the ball well.”
Blaine Schexnayder finished 3-for-4 with two RBIs and two runs, while Grant McCrory (2-for-3) and Steven Bright (2-for-4, double, 3 RBIs) were other leaders. Austin Bain added two hits and two RBIs.
OTTO CANDIES 5, DELHOMME DRILLERS 3: Candies relied on pitching and defense to get through the opening round. Todd Porche allowed three runs on six hits in 7.1 innings, and his Hahnville-based team turned two double plays in a 5-3 win over the Post 241 Delhomme.
“We worked on it diligently this week but our at bats just got worse and worse as the game went on,” Post 131 coach David Baudry said. “You have to be able to put teams away in this tournament, and we were fortunate to get a great pitching performance out of Todd. We had to make plays behind him. I am confident, especially on turf, with our infield defense.”
Candies had eight hits, compared to six for Acadiana-based Delhomme. Four of Hahnville’s hits came in the second inning. Chase Bagot’s two-out, three-run triple to center field was a key play. Dylan Keller and Tyler Simmons had back-to-back RBI singles to give Post 131 a 5-0 lead. Candies also left seven on base, including leaving the bases loaded in the seventh.
Delhomme scored single runs in the third on a ground out by Devin Boutin, a sacrifice fly by Caleb Duboc in the fifth and squeeze bunt by Tristan LaPorte in the eighth that scored Jaren Neef.
Porche ran into a little trouble in the eighth. Jared Laque picked up the save. Simmons was 3-for-5 with an RBI for Candies. Duboc finished 2-for-3 for Delhomme.
RETIF OIL 14, POST 241 HYMANN CHIEFS 4 (8 INNINGS): Errors played a key role as defending state champion Retif Oil, a Jesuit-based team, won easily.
Comeaux-based Hymann committed nine errors and got just five hits off starter Glynn Hyer, who finished with seven strike outs and two walks in 6.1 innings.
Hymann led 4-3 in the sixth and turned an inning-ending double play. However, Retif scored four runs with the help of three errors. Alex Galy’s two-run single provided the go-ahead runs.
Retif added five runs in the seventh and two in the eighth to end the game on the 10-run mercy rule.
Trent Forshag led Retif, going 2-for-3 with an RBI and three runs scored. Brandon Fequeira went 2-for-5 with three RBIs and two runs. Trent Pascal (2-for-3, RBI) led Hymann.