GONZALES — For the first five innings, it appeared St. Amant and East Ascension were heading toward their second extra-inning game of the weekend.
But with the score tied at 6 on Sunday, Spartans pitchers ran out of gas.
Sending 14 batters to the plate, St. Amant broke the game open with an eight-run sixth inning to secure a 14-6 win on the road against its parish rival.
“We had a lot more quality at-bats towards the end, and it allowed us to get a little momentum,” St. Amant coach Troy Templet said.
The Gators only tallied two hits in the decisive inning, but four walks, three hit by pitches and an error against four different Spartans pitchers gave St. Amant all the help it needed.
One player who did get a hit in the sixth was shortstop Brock Bowen. He led all hitters by going 3-for-5 with four RBIs.
“I was feeling really confident,” Bowen said. “I was seeing the ball really well and had been working off the tee a lot in practice.”
Bowen and the Gators bats did something that East Ascension has rarely seen this season: They jumped on Spartans senior starting pitcher Hayden Adams early with four hits in the first inning. An RBI double down the left-field line by Slade Gaudin put St. Amant up 2-0 before EAHS could even grab a bat.
But that lead evaporated almost as quickly as it formed when three Gators errors aided the Spartans in a three-run third inning.
After St. Amant tied it with a run in the top of the third, East Ascension’s Tristan Babin welcomed new Gators pitcher Davin Cummings with a triple to the base of the wall in right field. Babin then scored on groundout by Adams. The Spartans made it 5-3 later in the inning on a wild pitch from Cummings that brought Cole Holley home from third.
St. Amant got its own run via a wild pitch as part of a three-run fourth. The bulk of that damage came on a double by Bowen that scored two runs to put the Gators up 6-5.
But in sticking with the game’s theme of quickly answering, EAHS evened the score in the bottom half on a two-out triple by Kade Waguespack.
“At that point, it had the same feel as the game we played a few days ago,” Templet said. “It was two teams not playing their best but still battling it out.”
Adams was pulled with one out in the fourth after giving up five runs and four hits. His replacement, Holley, walked seven St. Amant batters in two innings and got the loss.
St. Amant reliever Tyler Dixon came on for Cummings in the fourth and earned the win, allowing just one run in two innings.
East Ascension coach Britt Waguespack met with his players for a long time after the game and was unavailable for comment. Attempts to reach him later by phone were unsuccessful.