GONZALES — East Ascension and Dutchtown are both fighting for their playoff lives, but the Spartans saw the best results Saturday afternoon at EAHS’ Johnny Ambeau Park.
East Ascension bunched together all five of its hits in the fourth and fifth innings, rallying from a three-run deficit to post a 4-3 District 5-5A win over the Griffins. The teams play again at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Dutchtown.
DHS (11-16, 2-3) took advantage of early some EAHS errors and used the pitching from Hunter Sanford to forge a 3-0 lead after 3½ innings. But the Spartans (14-12, 5-0) and pitcher Hayden Adams grew stronger as the game wore on.
“(Adams) has been there all year for us. There was never a doubt,” EA coach Britt Waguespack said. “We know when he’s got the ball we’ve got a chance. I didn’t think he had his stuff early, but he’s a senior. He found it, and he gave us a chance.”
Trailing 3-2 in the bottom of the fifth, East Ascension scored two runs to take the lead for good. Ben Thompson led off with a walk, and Kade Waguespack followed with a bunt single.
An errant pickoff throw to second by Sanford moved both runners up a base. Charles Stevens then singled to left driving in Thompson, and leaving runners at the corners.
After Sanford walked Adams, Dillon Abbess came on in relief. Abbess inherited a bases-loaded jam, and a mix-up with catcher Brandt Fritsche was the only mistake. The mix-up led to a passed ball, allowing Waguespack to score the go-ahead run from third.
“We’ve been close all year,” Dutchtown coach Chris Schexnaydre said. “Our record doesn’t show it, but we’ve been in a lot of ballgames. We just haven’t found a way to get on top yet.”
Dutchtown took a 1-0 lead in the first by way of a walk and two EAHS errors. With two outs, Fritsche worked the count to 3-1 before drawing a walk. Shortstop Zach Gautreau then threw wildly to first on a grounder by Tyler Boeding. As Fritsche was taking third, the relay from first was over his head, allowing him to score from first on the play.
The Griffins got another run in the third but left the bases loaded. Nick Ourso started things as he reached base on a fielder’s choice. Caleb Ricca and Fritsche had consecutive singles, the latter scoring Ourso from second.
Dane Anderson walked with two outs loading the bases. That brought up Payton Stafford., who grounded out to first ending the inning.
In the top of the fourth, Dutchtown extended its lead to 3-0. Conner Ghere led off with a single, took second on a sacrifice bunt, and scored on Ourso’s single to left.
“You know when you play (Dutchtown) you’ve got to get ready for their ‘A’ game,” Waguespack said. “I thought both teams were sluggish on defense at times, but we had some seniors come through for us.
“We had timely hits.”
The Spartans’ timely hitting began in the bottom of the fourth. Tristan Babin and Cole Holley had one-out singles. With two outs, Jorda LeBlanc sent a liner to right that got past Bailey Braud for a two-run triple.
“Jorda’s a senior. He’s one of our guys we go to,” Waguespack said. “It was just seniors wanting it today.”