Facing elimination, the Delhomme Drillers came up big.
In the third day of action at the American Legion state tournament Monday afternoon at Kirsch-Rooney Stadium, Delhomme defeated Brother Martin-based Peake BMW 5-3.
Delhomme, which is made up mainly of Acadiana High School players, will play again at 4 p.m. Tuesday against Gauthier & Amedee.
Earlier Monday, Delhomme lost to Retif Oil 6-2 in a game that was suspended in the sixth inning Sunday.
Peake’s season is over.
The Drillers held a two-run lead in the eighth, when Peake BMW loaded the bases. Derek Boutin, a lanky fire-balling left-hander, took the mound however, and recorded six strikeouts to end the game. Boutin had early control problems in the eighth, which he was able to overcome.
“I was really nervous about that, honestly,” he said. “I had to adjust, get a new ball, and just focus on throwing strikes. I had to remind myself it was just a game.”
His father, Delhomme coach Donnie Boutin, said nerves can be an issue when facing elimination in a high-stakes game such as the one played Monday.
“We came up with some clutch hitting at the right time,” he said.
Peake came alive in the top of the third with a two-out rally. Michael Kirsch singled and scored on a triple to deep right center by Chase Dolly. Kevin Strezinger followed with a liner to center that plated Dolly to put Peake up 2-0.
Delhomme evened things in the third when Westbrook was hit by a pitch.
Hunter Cloteaux pinch hit and reached on a fielder’s choice, and Hill Babineaux added an RBI single.
Tyler Laporte had a run-scoring single of his own. A wild pitch later scored Babineaux to put the Drillers up 3-2. Delhomme added another run in the fifth when Babineaux plated a run on a single.
Peake got one run back in the sixth when Strezinger scored on a wild pitch. Peake loaded the bases in the top of the eighth, but that’s when Boutin came into pitch and delivered his highlights.
“(Boutin) was pretty good on the mound, throwing 90, 92 (mph) with a breaking ball that was nasty,” Peake BMW coach Mark Wisniewski said. “But I’m proud of my kids. We battled all the way through. We don’t have a senior on our team, and (Delhomme may have been) all seniors.
“This is great experience for our guys. One hit changes the game.”
Rain has played a part in tournament action since the event began Saturday, but the skies largely remained clear on Monday.
Refuel (Archbishop Shaw), which defeated Peake BMW earlier in the tournament, was defeated in the game directly before the Peake/Delhomme matchup.
Two games are scheduled Tuesday, with the championship game set for Wednesday afternoon.