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Two years ago, the Wombats brought home a state title

Kyle Riviere
kriviere@weeklycitizen.com
Gonzales Weekly Citizen

If there’s one thing you can count on every summer in Ascension it’s the widespread success of the parish’s American Legion baseball team, the Gauthier & Amedee Wombats.

They’re having another tremendous season in 2020. It brings up memories of 2018, when the Wombats won their first state title in five years.

The two-year anniversary of that state title win is just around the corner. They won the championship on July 11, 2018. Here is the article the Weekly Citizen published on the occasion:

Wombats take American Legion state championship

Two out of three ain’t bad. In fact, it’s pretty great.

Ascension’s Gauthier & Amedee American Legion baseball team was hungry for their first state title in five years, but to win it, they had to go through a Jesuit-based Retif Oil squad. The Wombats took two of the three matchups

They earned the second victory in style, as they turned a tight 2-1 contest into a 9-1 laugher courtesy of a six-run fourth inning.

Gauthier & Amedee came into the state tournament in New Orleans as one of the prohibitive favorites. They only lost two regular-season games, and they completed their schedule with a six-game winning streak.

After defeating Refuel in the opener, the Wombats met Retif Oil for the first time all season.

Gauthier & Amedee came from behind to defeat the Oilers, 6-4. Dutchtown’s Brayden Caskey supplied a two-RBI single in the fifth inning that proved to be the difference.

From there, the Wombats crushed Best Chevrolet (De La Salle), 16-2, and then squeaked by St. Landry, 7-6, in the semifinals.

The victory finally got them over the hump and set up a championship matchup against Retif Oil.

Just one victory away from a state title, Gauthier & Amedee fell short against the Oilers in the first game last Wednesday evening.

The Wombats fell into a hole right from the start.

Retif’s Will Moran was hit by a pitch to lead off the the top of the first, and he was joined on base by Seth Dardar following a walk.

Brian Valigosky then came through with an RBI single, and Zack Casbonne drove in another run with a sacrifice to give the Oilers a 2-0 lead.

They added another run in the top of the sixth, before the Wombats finally got on the scoreboard.

At the bottom of the inning, Dutchtown’s Jordan Badame drove in East Ascension’s Carson Dabadie with a double.

However, Gauthier & Amedee would not score another run.

Retif put the game away in the seventh with a score of their own. The 4-1 victory forced a winner-take-all game between the two.

In the loss, Badame and Dabadie combined for four hits, but the rest of the Wombats were limited to just three..

Ace Dwain Guice (St. Amant) had been nearly unhittable all summer, but the Oilers got to him on Wednesday evening. In six complete innings, they produced five hits and four runs against him.

But the loss didn’t discourage the Wombats.

In the next game, they were the team that jumped out in front 2-0.

In the bottom of the second, Retif committed back-to-back errors. This allowed Dabadie to score. East Ascension’s Preston Thrash then came up with an RBI single.

The Oilers cut the Wombat lead in half in the third, but Gauthier & Amedee responded with the knockout punch in the bottom of the fourth.

Dutchtown’s Layton Lee reached base on an error to begin the frame. He was joined by Dabadie following a walk.

Thrash came up big once again. His triple brought both runners home. Thrash then scored on yet another Oiler error.

Caskey walked, and Ascension Cahtolic’s William Dunn joined him on base with a single. Both players then scored on a base hit by St. Amant’s Zane Zeppuhar.

The Wombat flurry finally ended with an RBI single by St. Amant’s Reed Babin.

Gauthier & Amedee added an insurance run in the sixth after Thrash scored on a passed ball.

The 9-1 victory awarded the Wombats their first state championship since 2013. It was also their first under second-year head coach Marty Luquet.

It’s the franchise’s eighth state championship, dating back to All-Star Ford.

In the title win, Thrash led the way as he went 2-2 with three RBIs and a walk. He also scored two runs, and he closed out the game from the mound—pitching two scoreless innings with five strikeouts.

Dutchtown’s Jack Merrifield earned the victory from the bump as he pitched five complete innings in which he surrendered just three hits and one run. He struck out four.