Dayton Sonnier’s key hit, pitchers spark West win in all-star game _lowres

Advocate staff photo by HEATHER McCLELLAND -- West all-star Tristan Babin, left, can't come up with a pickoff throw as the East's Zach Ride gets back to first base in the LHSCA All-Star baseball game Saturday at Denham Springs' North Park.

DENHAM SPRINGS — There are so many new faces and unfamiliar names on an all-star roster that, at times, it can be hard to keep up.

That’s what happened to Iowa’s Dayton Sonnier in the top of the seventh inning at the Louisiana High School Coaches Association all-star baseball game. With two outs and the bases loaded, there was confusion in the dugout before Sonnier finally walked out for his at-bat.

Once at the plate, Sonnier wasted no time proving his head was still in the game when he laced a two-run double to right-center. The hit gave the West a four-run lead, and it went on to post a 7-1 win at North Park.

“I didn’t quite know everybody’s name, and I didn’t know who I was supposed to hit after,” Sonnier said.

It didn’t matter as Sonnier liked the first pitch he saw from Dutchtown’s Dillon Abbess and drilled it for the game’s first big hit.

“It was there so I hit it,” Sonnier said.

In the eighth, Bryant Bowen of Captain Shreve highlighted the West’s three-run inning with a two-run homer to left. That shot put the West on top 7-1. A Southern Miss signee, Bowen was named the West’s most valuable player.

The West finished with eight hits while getting solid production from six pitchers. The East managed just two hits but was helped as five batters were hit by pitches.

Wichita State signee Lenni Kunert of Live Oak was the East’s most valuable player. He started and played five innings at third, and also reached base on a third-inning error.

“I thought the pitching was really good by both teams,” said West coach Glenn Cecchini of Barbe. “(Andrew) Lowe was very dominating. He’s going to be a big leaguer one day.”

Lowe, an Ole Miss signee from Airline, pitched the final two innings for the West. He faced seven batters, striking out three and walking one.

Mississippi State signee Kale Breaux and Louisiana-Lafayette walk-on Derek Boutin combined to hold the East scoreless in the first four innings. From there, North Vermilion’s Donald Comeaux (UL-Lafayette), Benton’s Aaron Sheppard (Louisiana Tech), and Sacred Heart-Ville Platte’s Phillip Vidrine each pitched an inning.

Vidrine was the only one that ran into trouble. The East picked up an unearned run in the seventh off of him.

Dutchtown’s Tyler Boeding had a single, and U-High’s Jake Wharton was hit by a pitch to help the East put two runners on with two outs. U-High’s Manny Miles then grounded to third, but West first baseman Daulton Williams of Hicks couldn’t handle the throw.

Maurepas’ Donovan Thibodeaux came around to score on the error, and another hit batter had two men on again for the East. St. Amant’s Justin Duhon flew out to left to end the threat.

“We got some guys in position to score, but we weren’t able to come away with anything,” East coach Paul Guerriero of Neville said. “Of course, they were running great pitchers up there every inning, so when you get the opportunity you better take advantage of it.”

The West broke on top with single runs in the first and third innings. Barbe’s Braden Comeaux struck out, but reached on a passed ball in the first. After a single and a stolen base, Comeaux scored on a sacrifice fly by Loyola’s Austin Townsend.

LSU signee Antoine Duplantis scored in the third. He reached base on a fielder’s choice, and moved to third on a passed ball and a wild pitch. He eventually scored on a throwing error to give the West a 2-0 lead, a score that stood until Sonnier’s hit in the seventh.