ST. AMANT — After a thrilling Game 1, No. 19 St. Amant took control early Saturday and routed No. 30 H.L. Bourgeois 12-0 to clinch the best-of-three Class 5A baseball series Saturday.
The Gators, who won 6-5 Friday, advance to take on No. 6 Sulphur in a best-of-three quarterfinals.
Starting pitcher Zane Zeppuhar helped his own cause with a two-run double in the first inning.
That was all the scoring Zeppuhar, who pitched a five-inning shutout, needed. He gave up one hit and four walks, while striking out eight. Only one of the five H.L. Bourgeois baserunners reached second base.
“Zane was throwing strikes,” St. Amant coach Troy Templet said. “He had two of his three pitches, and we just grinded it out.”
The Gators added three more runs in the second inning to chase H.L. Bourgeois starting pitcher Austin Labat with one out in the fourth inning. Labat gave up seven runs — six earned — on seven hits and two walks. He struck out three.
Labat was replaced by Brayden Doucet, who got out the fourth inning with two quick outs, but struggled in the fifth. After hitting the leadoff batter, Zeppuhar doubled again and Gant Gautreau and Aaron Delaune followed with singles before Doucet recorded an out.
By the time Doucet stepped off the mound, he had given four runs on three hits in the inning and only recorded one out. He was replaced for Jayce Boudreaux, who got the final two outs of the inning.
St. Amant scored five runs in the fifth and positioned itself for a 10-run rule. In the bottom of the fifth, Zepphuar struck out two and forced a ground ball for the final out of the game.
“I told them after (Friday’s) game that I thought that H.L. Bourgeois came with a little more intensity, a little more fire than we did,” Templet said. “I figured (Saturday) they were going to come ready to play again, and we had to match that and above.”
St. Amant will travel to face Sulphur next weekend after sweeping No. 22 Covington in the regional round series.
“We’re (in) the final eight,” Templet said. “I’m proud of this group for everything they’ve done so far. We know we’ve got another opponent who is very good, and we’ll work this week in practice and do what we do.”