The Lafayette-based Delhomme Drillers mastered the stiffing afternoon heat and the River Ridge Patriots on Saturday by capitalizing on a couple of time-honored baseball standards.
The Drillers exploited River Ridge’s mistakes and utilized solid pitching to take a 4-3 victory in the opening day of the American Legion State Tournament at Kirsch-Rooney Stadium in New Orleans.
All four of the Drillers runs were the result of misplays in the Curtis-based River Ridge outfield.
“We got a couple of fortunate mistakes out in the field from them,” Drillers coach Donnie Boutin said. “They gave us a couple of runs and gave us the lead. You have to get the breaks to win these kinds of tournaments.”
Delhomme advances to meet top-seeded Jesuit-based Retif Oil at 6:30 p.m. Sunday. The Patriots draw a bye Sunday and will next play at 1 p.m. Monday.
In Saturday’s first game, Gauthier & Amedee scored three runs in the sixth to break a 4-4 tie with Townsend Homes and pulled away to a 9-4 win.
Gauthier & Amedee reliever Blayne Enlow turned in three innings of one-hit ball to earn the win. Gauthier & Amedee will play Sunday against the winner of Saturday night’s game between Refuel and Peak BMW. Townsend will play that loser in Sunday’s 10:30 a.m. game.
In Saturday’s second game, the Patriots jumped out a short-lived 2-0 lead in the first inning.
Singles by Mason Matherne and Kody Shexnayder preceded a throwing error and a sacrifice fly by Trent Cormier.
After River Ridge managed its early 2-0 lead, the Drillers responded with two runs of their own in the second.
John Joslin singled and was sacrificed to second. Tanner Broussard was then hit by a pitch.
Following the inning’s second out, catcher Devin Boutin lofted a fly ball to center field that was misplayed into a two-run double.
“We knew we’d have a chance to get back in it,” Boutin said. He also knew pitcher Tanner Broussard “would give us a chance (to win).” He did, turning in seven solid innings of three-hit ball.
“Tanner is awesome,” Boutin said. “That is one of his strengths, to pitch around those kind of situations; minimize the damage. That’s exactly what he did in (the first).”
In the fourth inning, Jacob Norman led off with a fly to right that was misplayed into a triple. Norman scored on Broussard’s sacrifice fly.
Koi Westbrook reached on a fielder’s choice in the seventh inning.
Westbrook scored the Drillers’ fourth run all the way from first base when Tyler LaPorte singled and the ball eluded the center fielder.
“All four runs,” Curtis coach Johnny Curtis lamented after the game. “We lost ... fly balls. We just have to be better in the outfield.
“Kyle (Burns) pitched his behind off,” Curtis said. “He got behind in some counts but he didn’t have but one ... walk.”
Burns pitched 81?3 innings.
“Both sides pitched well,” Curtis said. “We’ve just got to get our spikes underneath us and do a better job (Monday).”