ST. AMANT — Dutchtown High and St. Amant High were neck- and-neck atop the District 5-5A baseball standings, but Dutchtown created some separation in the sixth inning of their game Tuesday evening.
Dutchtown (22-10, 8-1) scored five runs in the sixth before coasting in for a 6-1 win. St. Amant (23-8, 7-2) went down in order in their final two at-bats as the Griffins staked their claim to first place.
St. Amant will get a chance to force a tie for the district title Thursday when it travels to Dutchtown for both teams’ regular-season finale.
Tuesday’s game turned out to be a showcase for LSU signee Austin Bain, who went six innings before giving way to Dillon Abbess in the seventh. Bain (4-4) gave up two hits, struck out 12 and walked one. He threw 86 pitches, including 58 strikes.
“(Bain) was phenomenal tonight,” said Dutchtown coach Chris Schexnaydre, who pointed out Bain had been resting a sore shoulder. “He hadn’t pitched in two weeks, but he came out ready to go and obviously threw well.”
Bain also led Dutchtown’s offense by delivering the key hit, a three-run double, before finishing 3-for-4.
St. Amant’s Brennan Grant (5-2) worked free of bases-loaded jams in the second and third innings and helped the Gators cling to a 1-0 lead through four innings. Dutchtown tied the game in the fifth when Bain, Evan Richardson and Payton Stafford hit consecutive singles, the last a liner to right that scored Bain.
Dutchtown chased Grant in the sixth when it sent 10 batters to the plate. Two hits and a walk loaded the bases with one out, but Grant looked ready to wriggle free when he got Dylan King to lift a routine fly to center field.
Instead, Gators outfielders Mitch Mayard and Owen Richard lost the ball in the stadium lights, and it fell to the ground untouched for an RBI single. Bain then stroked a bases-clearing double to left-center.
“(Bain) did an outstanding job,” St. Amant coach Troy Templet said. “It was a battle until the sixth inning. We got out of a couple of jams with two outs, but then they strung some hits together.
“They basically broke it open right there.”
Grant threw 120 pitches in 5.1 innings. He struck out seven, walked two and was charged with four runs.
St. Amant took a 1-0 lead in the second after Grant led off with a single to right. Courtesy runner Jacob Desoto took second on a sacrifice and moved to third on a groundout. Desoto scored when Matthew Delaune beat out a slow chopper to third base.
It was the last hit St. Amant mustered against Bain, and the Gators went on to drop their second district game of the season. The loss creates a do-or-die game for St. Amant’s district hopes, but not its playoff fortunes.
“I hope this doesn’t put pressure on us (for Thursday),” Templet said. “It’s just the next game.
“We need to just try and bounce back and play well. No matter what the next game is not the end of the world.”