Delgado Community College baseball coach Joe Scheuermann knew there would be some early jitters on both sides heading into the first game of his team’s best-of-seven series against rival Baton Rouge Community College.
He didn’t think those jitters would result in a combined 23 runs and eight errors. But the result was all that mattered.
The No. 17 Dolphins (28-12) got over their early nerves and came up with some clutch hits late to squeeze out a thrilling 13-10 victory over the Bears at Kirsch-Rooney Stadium on Saturday afternoon to take a 1-0 series lead.
“I told them once we got up in the seventh that the good news is, we played as bad as we could and we were still in the game,” Scheuermann said. “I think when you put all your eggs in one series, sometimes these kind of games can happen late in the year.
“We were down late, and we could’ve laid down and quit, but we didn’t.”
The series stretches out over the course of three weekends and the winner will host the South Central District Tournament, which Delgado has won each of the past two seasons.
The two teams will meet again at BRCC (16-28) at 3 p.m. Sunday for Game 2.
“We know we’re heading into another tough game tomorrow, we just have to keep fighting,” said Delgado shortstop Tyler St. Phillip, who finished the day 1-for-3 with three RBIs and two runs scored.
“Getting this first win out the way was important for us, so now we can just focus on taking it day by day and not think so much about it.”
After scoring a combined five runs in the sixth and seventh innings, it appeared as if BRCC grabbed control of Saturday’s game.
But Delgado put together a wild six-run seventh inning that gave the Dolphins control of the game.
Christian Clayton got things started for the Dolphins in the inning with a big two-run double that drew a loud roar from Delgado’s home crowd, and St. Phillip added a sacrifice fly to tie the game at 10.
The Bears allowed Delgado to score two more runners committed two errors on one play after a Daniel Lahare hit and Owen Magee’s RBI double into right field put his team ahead.
“It feels really good to come out on top, because this was a crazy game,” said Magee, who went 3-for-6 with an RBI and two runs scored. “We went back and forth, but I’m proud of the guys for sticking to it and coming out with this big win.”
After falling behind 2-0 after the first inning, BRCC grabbed the lead with a four-run second that began with a few defensive miscues by the Dolphins.
Tyler LaPorte reached base on a Delgado error that brought home Layton Laird, who moved into scoring position because of a passed ball by Delgado catcher McKay Mouton added an RBI single,which was followed by a 2-run double from Kevin VanAsselberg that gave BRCC a 4-2 lead going into the third.
Delgado got its bats going once again and reclaimed the lead with a four-run rally of its own in the fourth. After Clayton and Brandt Broussard drew back-to-back walks, St. Phillip drilled a two-run single to right field. J.P. LaGreco followed with an RBI single and a throwing error by the Bears brought in another run that gave Delgado a 7-5 lead.