Jesuit-based Retif Oil scored 17 runs in its win over the River Ridge Patriots on Tuesday, which placed them in the American Legion state championship game but managed only one run on Wednesday against the Delhomme Drillers.
It was the only run they needed.
Outfielder Scott Crabtree’s RBI single in the bottom of the ninth inning secured Retif’s 1-0 victory over Lafayette-based Delhomme at Kirsch-Rooney Stadium in New Orleans. It was Retif’s second consecutive American Legion state title.
Retief advances to the Mid-South regionals Aug. 5-9 in Conway, Arkansas.
“It definitely says a lot about our team that we can compete in these different types of games and still come out with wins,” Retif coach Joey Latino said. “I have to give a ton of credit to (Delhomme), but our guys kept fighting and we got the big hit when we needed it.”
Retif catcher Trent Forshag said he might have had the potential game-winning hit earlier in the ninth when his soaring double flew over the head of Delhomme left fielder Josh Sogga, but Sogga got the throw into the infield and the relay throw caught Retif’s Ben Hess after Delhomme catcher Devin Boutin tagged him out at the plate.
Crabtree, a UNO signee, was the next batter, and he wasn’t going to allow another opportunity to win pass by, ending the game on the second pitch he saw.
“It’s always fun to play in these types of games when it comes down to the end like this,” Crabtree said. “We practice these types of situations all the time, and we live for these moments where we can come out and show what we can do.”
Both teams rode masterful performances from their starting pitchers, who kept both teams scoreless through the first eight innings.
Retif Oil pitcher Mason Mayfield got the win, throwing a shutout with five hits and five strikeouts.
Delhomme pitcher Tanner Broussard lasted 8.2 innings, allowing seven hits and one run, while striking out eight.
“It definitely makes the game more intense when you’re facing a guy that was pitching as well as he was,” Mayfield said. “I was just fortunate that my teammates supported me throughout the game and helped me out whenever I needed it.”
Delhomme coach Donnie Boutin, while joking that he will be up all night figuring out what his team could’ve done differently in Wednesday’s loss, said he was proud of the team’s effort and how much they progressed during the tournament.
“These guys fought their tails off the entire tournament, but it’s just unfortunate that it had to end the way it did,” Boutin said. “Coach Latino has reached out to us and said he will help us in continuing the growth of our program. But the most important thing for me is that our guys got an opportunity to come out and have this experience. It’s something they definitely will be able to grow from.”