Tiger baseball splits games to open 2018 season

Kyle Riviere
kriviere@weeklycitizen.com
Clenard Mollere had an RBI in Donaldsonville's season opener against Avoyelles. Photo by Kyle Riviere.

After a resurgent season that saw Donaldsonville win 12 games, the Tigers began their 2018 baseball season last week with two road tests.

Following a blowout loss in the opener against Avoyelles, Donaldsonville was able to bounce back and end the week on a high note as they overpowered White Castle.

Last season was pivotal for the evolution of the Tiger baseball program. Under first-year head coach Garrett Maum, Donaldsonville went 12-2. The Tigers had only won nine combined games since 2010.

With this success, Donaldsonville will play a full schedule this season. This will include district competition that will make them eligible for the postseason.

The first step came last Tuesday when they hit the road to face Avoyelles in the opener.

The Tigers hung around for much of the game, but in the sixth inning, the Mustangs exploded for seven runs to end the contest with an 11-1 mercy-rule victory.

Avoyelles initially took a 3-0 lead in the first three innings, but Donaldsonville cut it to 3-1 in the fourth when Tre'von Mitchell was sent home on a single by Clenard Mollere.

Unfortunately for the Tigers, they failed to generate anymore offense.

Starting pitcher Tim Campbell pitched five complete innings. In that time, he allowed eight hits and four runs, while striking out seven.

From the plate, Mitchell went 2-3 and scored the team's lone run, while Mollere went 1-2 with an RBI.

"I was excited about taking the team on the road to open the season," Maum said. "Tim pitched a really good game. The team played well and with a lot of energy. If we make a few more plays on routine fly balls, we’re right there. Avoyelles has a good team – very competitive arms and nice swings. This was a great learning experience."

Donaldsonville showed great resiliency in their Thursday victory over White Castle.

Following an 11-1 defeat, the Tigers fought back from a 4-0 fifth-inning deficit to capture their first victory of the season.

The Tiger offense came alive in the fifth. They scored four runs there, and they added another five in the sixth inning to pull away from the Bulldogs, 9-5.

Mitchell got the start from the mound and played well. He pitched five complete innings, only surrendering five hits and two earned runs. Though he walked seven batters, he struck out nine.

Campbell was able to reach base four times. He went 1-1 with an RBI, and he walked three times, allowing him to score one run.

Charles Brown went 1-3 with two walks.

"I was curious to see how the team would respond to a loss," Maum said. "We came out sluggish, and seemed to be going through the motions. The guys finally played to our expectations once White Castle really put some pressure on us with the 4-0 lead. They never gave in, they fought hard and they earned this victory.

"I was very impressed with Tiy’quan Hoyal and Josh Collier. These guys are both freshmen and started the rally in both the fifth and sixth innings with quality at-bats and aggressive base-running."

This week, the Tigers will visit McKinely on Thursday, and then compete in a tournament at Scotlandville over the weekend.