DENHAM SPRINGS – The Denham Springs baseball team leaves Wednesday for a tournament in Hoover (Ala.).
Veteran Yellow Jackets coach Mark Carroll felt that trip and not their game against Dutchtown was on his players’ minds Tuesday afternoon.
The Griffins scored early and late to defeat Denham Springs 21-6 in a non-district game at North Park.
Dutchtown jumped to a 4-0 lead in the top of the first inning. Then, the Griffins turned the game into a rout by scoring 15 runs in the sixth and seventh innings.
“I think our brains cells were on that trip,” Carroll said. “There was a lack of concentration. That’s my fault. We played really good Saturday against St. Paul’s (10-6 Denham Springs victory) and then we came out like this. We have been really, really good or really, really bad this year.”
Two of the Yellow Jackets’ best players had rough afternoons. Starting pitcher Jase McDonald gave up four runs before getting an out in the first inning. Shortstop Cade Doughty had a couple of hits but committed three errors.
“Jase was the exact opposite today as he has looked all season,” Carroll said. “He was missing his spots and got hit. Cade’s three errors were very uncharacteristic of him. He is an outstanding player.”
Dutchtown (4-3) collected 19 hits off six DSHS pitchers. The hitting star for the Griffins was starting pitcher Will Reed, who was a single shy of the cycle. He had a three-run triple in the first, a two-run double in the sixth and a three-run homer in the seventh.
The key hit of the four-run first inning was Reed’s bases-loaded triple to give Dutchtown a 4-0 lead.
Prior to Reed’s hit, the Griffins scored a run on a double by LaMarcus Jones, a walk to Cohen Parent and a single by Brayden Caskey.
A single by Dalton Barbier loaded the bases and set the stage for Reed’s big hit. McDonald did close out the inning in a strong fashion by retiring the next three batters – two on strikeouts. McDonald was replaced after one inning.
Reliever Cade Ross kept the Yellow Jackets (3-2) in the game through the middle innings. He gave up two runs, three hits in four innings.
Ross walked three and struck out seven. After an error in the second allow a run to score Caskey delivered a two-out RBI double in the fourth.
Trailing 5-0, Denham Springs got back into the game in the bottom of the second. Tyler Evans had a
leadoff triple and scored when third baseman Zach Braud misplayed David Frye’s ground ball. Reese Smith followed with a double and Frye scored when the relay throw got away in the infield.
After an infield single by Brennan Hall, scored Smith when Dalton Diez hit into a force play. With the tying run at the plate. Diez was picked off first base and Josh Preston then struck out to end the inning.
The Yellow Jackets did not get another baserunner until the sixth inning.
The game got away from Denham Springs in the sixth when Dutchtown scored seven runs off relief pitchers JT Gould and Smith. Reed had a two-run double, while Trey Martin had a run-scoring triple and Jack Ballard had a RBI single.
Facing a mercy-rule defeat, the Yellow Jackets scored two runs in the bottom of the sixth against Reed.
A single by Doughty and double by Noah Juan started the inning. Tristan Duhe and Evans followed with run-scoring singles.
Both Doughty and Evans had two of Denham Springs’ nine hits.
Denham Springs used three pitchers – Smith, Juan and Preston – trying to get three outs in the seventh, but the Griffins scored eight times. Caskey had two run-scoring hits in the inning – a double and a single – and Reed hit his home run over the leftfield fence.