DENHAM SPRINGS -- The 2017 Metro Ball season came to a close Thursday for Denham Springs High with a doubleheader against East Ascension.
After getting beat up by the Spartans 11-3 in Game 1, Denham dominated the second game, forcing the mercy rule with a 12-2 win in 5 innings.
To the coaches, it may have just been a summer game, but the players on both sides were treating the game as if it were playoff time. They were extremely loud and boisterous, which made for a very fun two games.
One of the main goals for any team during the summer is to find incoming freshmen to fill in holes from the departing seniors. The Yellow Jackets may have found one in pitcher Dalton Diez.
In his first ever start for DSHS, Diez pitched 4 innings, allowing just two runs and striking out six batters.
“I hope I’m pitching varsity next year,” Diez said. “That’s the goal.”
If he continues to pitch like he did Thursday, that goal seems very attainable.
In the second game, it was the Spartans who scored the first two runs of the game. After a walk and a double to start the 2nd inning, EA’s Chad Kennedy knocked in a run with an RBI single.
After reaching 2nd base, Kennedy came in to score on Diez’s wild pitch to give the Spartans a 2-0 lead. EA had a chance to break the game wide open, but Diez shut the inning down with a pickoff at first base, a strikeout and a fly ball to end the inning.
It was all Denham after that.
In the bottom of the 2nd, EA starting pitcher Cam Shexnaildre began to struggle after he recorded the first out. DSHS put up four runs in the inning, highlighted by Brennan Leblanc’s RBI double. David Frye and Tyler Evans each contributed RBI singles and the fourth run came on Dawson Albin’s sacrifice fly.
Albin had missed some of the summer metro while playing for the Louisiana Knights, but didn’t miss a beat going 2-for-2 in the second game with a run scored an RBI in both games.
“I felt a little sluggish at first,” Albin said. “But as the game went on I felt I was seeing the ball really well.”
The Yellow Jackets added one run in the 3rd inning to up their lead to 5-2. In the bottom of the 4th, the Denham bats seemed to be on fire.
Hitting became contagious as DSHS sent 13 hitters to the plate, adding seven runs on seven hits and a walk. Eight of the nine hitters for Denham either got an RBI or run scored. Micah Tippit was the only hitter not to get either, and he was 2-for-2 in the inning with a single and a double.
In the doubleheader opener, the Yellow Jackets scored the first three runs before East Ascension scored 11 unanswered to close out the game.