DENHAM SPRINGS – In the event it was his final home game in North Park, Cade Doughty went out with a bang.
The Denham Springs senior put on a defensive clinic in the field while going 2-for-3 with a three-run home run and RBI-single in the Yellow Jackets’ decisive 17-0 District 4-5A victory over Walker.
“I think we were all locked in,” Doughty said. “Especially because it was senior night and it could be our last home game. So, I was really amped up for it. As a team, we played so well that I just wanted to back my brothers up. I’d go to war for them.”
Denham Springs coach Mark Carroll noticed something different in Doughty’s performance.
“He kicked it up an extra level,” he said. “Defensively he made several plus-plays and he did the same offensively. Even on the bases, effort wise. He just had a great ball game. And that’s the scary thing, when you see what he can do in all phases of the game.”
Doughty wasn’t the only senior to shine for Denham Springs’ senior day.
Pitcher Tyler Evans also excelled in the shortened game, throwing five innings of one-hit, scoreless baseball where he struck out two and only allowed a single baserunner.
Denham Springs (16-13, 6-4 District 4-5A) was first on the board after Doughty drew a two-out walk in the first inning. After a steal of second, he noticed the throw was high, popping up off the bag and advanced to third, where he scored on Noah Juan’s double to the left-center gap.
“The other players here feed off him” Carrol said of Doughty’s effort play. “They see his effort level and they all kick it up a notch.”
DSHS then broke the game open in the second inning, batting around while scoring six runs on four hits and an error.
An inning later, Doughty’s three-run homer powered the Jackets to a four-run inning.
“I knew I hit it pretty well,” Doughty said. “I was looking for a fastball to take over centerfield. He gave me the pitch to put on a good swing and I executed it.”
DSHS then replicated its successful second inning, batting around and scoring six runs off four hits and an error. The Yellow Jackets then retired the Wildcats (10-20, 5-5) in order in the top of the fifth to end the game.
For Walker coach Randy Sandifer, it’s a loss he’d rather forget. With the Wildcats having seemingly secured a playoff spot, he doesn’t want this game fresh in his team’s mind when they take the field next week.
“Whether it’s 17-0, 7-6, or 1-0, it all counts the same at this point,” said Sandifer, whose team defeated Hammond, 6-5, earlier Saturday. “The real thing is our margin of error has been pretty slim all year. I don’t think we came out with a whole lot of intensity and then it kind of snowballed. We couldn’t stop it. Just one of those games where in a Major League schedule it’d get lost in 162. In a high school schedule, it kind of stays with you.”