Wombats take home state championship
Because of the Coronavirus outbreak, no high-school or college baseball players from Ascension Parish had the opportunity to compete for a championship back in the spring.
But exactly three months after the high-school and college baseball seasons were halted, a champion was crowned.
On Sunday, the Louisiana American Legion State Tournament was concluded with Ascension Parish's Gauthier & Amedee Wombats taking home the state title. It was the team's second state championship victory in the past three years.
The Wombats came into the tournament with a 19-2-1 regular-season record.
They began the tournament at Riverside Academy for pool play on Thursday. Gauthier & Amedee destroyed Gulf Coast, 21-2, in the first game.
In game two, they were pushed to the limit by the Bill Hood Titans. In the bottom of the seventh, with the bases loaded and the game tied at 1-1, East Ascension alum Grant Griffin walked, allowing a run to score and the Wombats to escape with a 2-1 victory.
Dutchtown alum Brayden Caskey went 3-4 in the game. He was the only Wombat with multiple hits.
St. Amant's Teddy Webb pitched seven and two-third innings in which he allowed just four hits and no earned runs. He struck out six.
In the quarterfinals at Lutcher High, the Wombats cruised past the St. Landry Indians, 6-2.
Webb was 3-3 from the plate with two RBIs. Caskey went 2-4.
From the mound, Dutchtown's Brock Bathelemy pitched a complete game, surrendering just four hits and one earned run. He struck out 11.
This advanced Gauthier & Amedee to the semifinal game on Sunday evening. They faced off against Retif Oil.
The Wombats fell down 1-0 in the top of the first. They remained behind until the bottom of the fourth inning.
There, Griffin led off with a single, and St. Amant's Reese Lipoma joined him on base with a single of his own. It set the table for East Ascension alum Blaise Foote driving home Griffin with a base hit to tie the game.
In the bottom of the sixth, Retif Oil pitching fell apart and the Wombats took full advantage.
Lipoma tripled, St. Amant's Will Delaune was hit by a pitch and Foote collected a bunt single to load the bases.
St. Amant's Slade Zeppuhar and Dutchtown's Landon Manson were then both hit by pitches, allowing two runs to score.
The inning finally ended with a Webb sac fly that gave the Wombats a 4-1 lead, a lead they were able to hold and punch their ticket to the championship game on Sunday night.
Lipoma went 2-3 and scored two runs.
Foote was the player of the game for Gauthier & Amedee. From the plate, he went 2-3 with an RBI, and from the mound, he pitched a complete game, giving up just three hits and one earned run. He struck out seven.
In the state title game, the Wombats had a rematch against the Bill Hood Titans. This time, they made it look easy.
In the top of the first, Caskey and Lipoma each reached base following fielding errors. Caskey was able to score on the second error to give Gauthier & Amedee a 1-0 lead.
In the top of the fourth, with the score tied at 1-1, Foote doubled. He was later sent home by a Manson single to put the Wombats up 2-1.
Gauthier & Amedee put the game away in the top of the fifth.
Trey Webb led off with a bunt single, and Caskey also singled. Griffin then drove home both players with a triple.
Lipoma walked, and Griffin scored on a Titan error.
Delaune and Zeppuhar were both hit by pitches to load the bases. Manson then produced a sac fly to extend the Wombat lead to 6-1.
In the top of the seventh, Lipoma collected an RBI triple and Foote produced a sac grounder to make it 8-1.
The Wombats eventually took the game, 8-2.
Lipoma was 2-3 with an RBI, while Manson was 2-2 with two RBIs.
St. Amant's Connor Adams pitched a complete game in which he surrendered just four hits and two earned runs. He struck out seven.
This was the second state title the Wombats have won under head coach Marty Luquet. It is the third championship the Wombats have won since 2013.
They finished 2020 with an overall record of 24-2-1.