Dutchtown baseball looks to build on momentum
The Dutchtown High School baseball team capped a disappointing 2019 season last year with an impressive run to the 5A state quarters, eventually losing to powerhouse Sam Houston.
This season's team is 16-9 overall and 3-1 in district with the only loss coming in a two-game set to rival East Ascension. Coach Chris Schexnaydre knows what it takes to advance in the always-deep 5A playoffs. “We continue to work on our hitting, have better at-bats and getting more timely hits,” Schexnaydre said.
The Griffins returned some key players led by shortstop Brandon Caskey (.365 average, 10 doubles), third baseman Will Reed (.338 average, 2 home runs, 20 RBI) and outfielder Dalton Barbier (.328 average, 2 home runs and 25 RBI).
Other top players include first basemen Carter Landry and Jesse Miller, second baseman Trey Martin and outfielder Cohen Parent, who shares the duties with Thomas Elliot and Slade Laney. Zach Braud spends time at third base as well as on the mound; he leads the staff with four saves.
The catching duties are split between Landon Mason and Beau Blunschi. The designated hitter is LaMarcus Jones, who has had some big hits this season.
“Over the last few weeks, our pitching and defense have been our strengths, which has led to our success,” Schexnaydre said. The pitching staff has some good ones, led by Jesse Miller (6-0), Jack Simmons (3-0), Reed (2-2), Brock Barthelemy (2-2), Will Dotter (0-1) and Jacob Doyle (1-2). “Our hitting can come and go at any time, but pitching and defense can always be a thing that can be consistent. If you do those two things well, you give yourself a chance to win games,” Schexnaydre said.
The Griffins have played an extremely difficult schedule, including the aforementioned Sam Houston team, Barbe, Zachary, Lafayette, Destrehan, Brother Martin and Ascension Catholic. “After splitting with East Ascension and sweeping St. Amant, we have everything right in front of us to accomplish our goal of winning a district championship,” Schexnaydre said.
With several key games remaining, including two games against district opponent Catholic High, the opportunity to build on last year's run certainly seems within reach for this year's team.