Thunder and lightning struck the American Legion Baseball State Championship Tournament on Sunday, although not in the form of inclement weather.
Townsend Homes and an assuming 5-foot-7, 145-pound right-hander sent the first real shock waves through the double-elimination tournament when they shut down powerhouse Gauthier & Amedee 4-0 in a Day 2 winners bracket game played at Mike Miley Stadium.
Coming off a sophomore season in which he made only four appearances, Peyton Broussard recorded a shutout by limiting the East Ascension-based Wombats to four hits while striking out two and walking three.
“I would say this is probably the biggest upset in American Legion baseball history,’’ Townsend coach Wayne Stein said of his St. Charles Catholic-based team’s effort. “That was unbelievable. You’re talking about an all-star team made of players from East Ascension, St. Amant and Dutchtown (high schools). We’re a school of 300 kids. It’s unbelievable.’’
Broussard (2-1) allowed G&A 10 baserunners, but stranded seven of them and benefited from a huge double play turned by center fielder Lloyd Nash in the top of the third to keep the game scoreless. Nash threw out G&A’s Noah Fontenot attempting to score from third following a fly out.
“What a phenomenal performance by Peyton Broussard,’’ Stein said. “I can’t say enough about him. He wanted the ball today. He had his competitive juices flowing. He wanted to see what his stuff could do against some of the best players in the state.’’
“That’s certainly a big win for them,’’ Gauthier & Amedee coach Marty Luquet graciously said. “It makes their summer.’’
The victory also advanced Townsend (8-6-1) into the tournament’s final winners bracket pairing where the Homes are scheduled to face Pedal Valves, a 7-1 winner over St. Landry Bank of Opelousas.
The tournament is scheduled to return to Kirsch-Rooney Stadium on Monday after having all four Sunday games staged at Miley because of heavy rains Saturday that inundated Rooney.
Townsend’s Monday game is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. while Gauthier & Amedee (23-5-1) moved into an elimination game against the Southland Hogs (20-7) scheduled for 12:30 p.m.
Covenant Christian-based Southland eliminated First District champion Ponstein’s 4-1 on Sunday. Holy Cross-based Ponstein’s ended the tournament 0-2 and 13-5-1 overall.
River Ridge also remained alive Sunday with a 4-1 victory against the Crowley Millers in a morning elimination pairing. Crowley finished 10-5.
John Curtis-based River Ridge (8-2) plays the loser between Pedal Valves and St. Landry Bank 30 minutes following the conclusion of Gauthier & Amedee and Southland contest.
Townsend and Gauthier & Amedee played 4½ scoreless innings until Townsend recorded its first hit and capitalized on a hit batter and three Gauthier & Amedee errors to score all four of its runs in the bottom of the fifth.
Right fielder Riley Loupe scored the lone run Broussard and Townsend would need via a bases-loaded ground out by catcher Jordan Jensen. The rally started when Loupe was hit by a pitch with one out, advanced to second on Gauthier’s first error and reached third via a blooped opposite field single to left by Nash.
Cade Pregeant and Nash then scored on Gauthier & Amedee’s second infield error involving a grounder to short by first baseman Dellary Oubre. Oubre then scored on a throwing error involving his steal of third base.
“One thing about St. Charles, they always play well,’’ Luquet said. “They’re well-coached and they don’t beat themselves. Their pitcher pitched well. But it wasn’t like we played bad. We hit some balls hard. They just ran them down.
“But you know what? It’s a double-elimination tournament, and we are far from dead.’’
“They’re clearly a great ball club,’’ Stein said of Gauthier & Amedee. “We’re not beating our chest. They’ll be right back. We’ll have to play them again. I’m just proud of my kids. I don’t ask them to win. I ask them to compete and they definitely did.’’
TOWNSEND HOMES 4, GAUTHIER & AMEDEE 0
Gauthier & Amedee 000 000 0 — 0-4-3
Townsend Homes 000 040 0 — 4-2-1
Top hitters — GAUTHIER & AMEDEE: Brayden Caskey 1-3; Zane Zuppuhar 1-3; Jack Merrifield 1-2; Noah Fontenot 1-2. TOWNSEND HOMES: Lloyd Nash 1-2, run; Riley Loupe, 1-1, run; Jordan Jensen 0-3, RBI; Dellary Oubre 0-3, run; Cade Pregeant 0-2, run.
W — Peyton Broussard (2-0). Losing pitcher: Brandon Foncree, Gauthier & Amedee.
Team records — Gauthier & Amedee 23-5-1; Townsend Homes 8-6-1.
At a glance
Louisiana State Championship Tournament
Game 1: Gauthier & Amedee (East Ascension) 2, River Ridge Patriots (John Curtis) 1 at Kirsch-Rooney Stadium
Game 2: Pedal Valves (Independent) 4, Southland Hogs (Covenant Christian) 2 at Kirsch-Rooney and Mike Miley Stadiums
Game 3: Townsend Homes (St. Charles Catholic) 6, Crowley Millers (Crowley) 2 at Mike Miley
Game 4: St. Landry Bank Indians (Opelousas) 5, Ponstein’s (Holy Cross) 4 at Mike Miley
at Mike Miley Stadium
Game 5: River Ridge Patriots 4, Crowley Millers 1
Game 6: Southland Hogs (Covenant Christian) 4, Ponstein’s 1
Game 7: Townsend Homes 4, Gauthier & Amedee 0
Game 8: Pedal Valves 7, St. Landry Bank Indians (Opelousas) 1
Game 9: Southland Hogs (20-7) vs. Gauthier & Amedee (23-5-1), Kirsch-Rooney Stadium, 12:30 p.m.
Game 10: River Ridge Patriots (9-2) vs. St. Landry Bank Indians (9-3), Kirsch-Rooney Stadium, 3 p.m.
Game 11: Townsend Homes, 8-6-1, vs. Pedal Valves (23-6), Kirsch-Rooney Stadium, 5:30 p.m.
Game 12: Game 10 winner vs. Game 11 winner, 4 p.m.
(See note No. 1 below)
Game 13: Game 9 winner vs. Game 11 loser, 7 p.m.
(See note No. 1 below)
Game 14: Game 12 winner vs. Game 13 winner, 4 p.m.
Game 15: If necessary. Fifteen games will be needed if Game 11 winner loses Game 13 or Game 13 winner wins Game 14.
Wednesday, Aug. 2, thru Wednesday, Aug. 6
American Legion Mid-South Regional Tournament at Kirsch-Rooney
Thursday, Aug. 10, thru Tuesday, Aug. 15
American Legion World Series at Keeter Stadium, Shelby, N.C.