DENHAM SPRINGS — Dutchtown High School used a combination of timely hitting and solid pitching to edge Denham Springs 3-2 Friday night a Class 5A regional baseball playoff game.
The best-of-three series resumes at 1 p.m. Saturday at North Park. A third game, if necessary, would be played around 4 p.m.
Dutchtown senior Austin Bain (5-4) scattered six hits over six innings. Bain, an LSU baseball signee, gave up a single to Denham’s Matt Erwin to begin the bottom of the seventh inning. Evan Richardson came on in relief and walked Benton Lieux before fanning Bailey Holstein and forcing two fly-outs.
“Bain was really good tonight,” Dutchtown coach Chris Schexnayder said. “Denham had guys in scoring position and he had some key strikeouts. Richardson did a great job in relief.”
Fourth-seeded Denham Springs (26-10) scored two runs in the second inning. No. 13 Dutchtown (24-11) rallied with a run in third and two runs in the fourth.
“We’re extremely fortunate to come over here and get a win,” Schexnaydre said. “It will take another team effort to win Saturday.”
“It was a great high school ballgame,” Denham Springs coach Mark Carroll said. “It was a war tonight. We’ve had a good series with Dutchtown the last couple of years.”
Holstein (3-3) pitched a complete game for DSHS and scattered eight hits.
Dutchtown was hitless in the first two innings. With two outs in the top of the third, Aiden Hodges smashed a triple and Dylan King had an RBI single to cut the Denham lead to 2-1.
The Griffins had three hits in the fourth inning. Payton Stafford doubled, Trey Gallman had an RBI triple and Tyler Boeding had an RBI single. Holstein had two of his three strikeouts in the inning.
Denham’s Kaleb Clarke and Travis Swaggerty singled in the second inning. Tanner Magee hit a hard shot that leftfielder Dylan King was unable to catch and two runs scored. An error was ruled on the play.
Both defenses stiffened from there. Dutchtown shortstop Caleb Ricca fell to the ground on one play and still made the throwout. DSHS turned two double plays to end the fifth and the seventh innings, and leftfielder Ashton Martin made a tough running catch to end the sixth inning with Gallman in scoring position following a double.
Denham loaded the bases in the fifth with one out. Bain had two walks in that sequence. Bain fanned Holstein and Martin to end the inning. Bain had six strikeouts in the game.
Denham also stranded two runners in the third and seventh innings.
Schexnaydre said Richardson (5-1), Dylan Abbess (5-1) or Justin Martin (2-1) would pitch Saturday. Carroll said Mac Sceroler (8-5) will start the first game. Brennan Batty (6-2) is also available.