DENHAM SPRINGS -- Denham Springs had to squeeze out of a tight spot in both ends of the game, but the Yellow Jackets did just enough to win Monday’s Metro League contest against Dunham 7-6.
The game started with Dunham hitting back-to-back triples and ended with the Tigers scoring five runs over the last three innings, but the Yellow Jackets were able to push back each time. After giving up the triples and hitting a batter, Denham Springs pitcher Carter Holstein was able to settle down and strike out the side, keeping the Yellow Jackets within a run.
“We probably won the game in the first inning,” Denham Springs coach Mark Carroll said. “We gave up back-to-back triples and only gave up one run in that inning. That’s how you win games. If you get in that kind of situation, you scratch and claw your way out of it.”
Denham responded directly when Tanner Zeppuhar led off the Yellow Jacket first with a double to right center, advancing home on a pair of groundouts. The Yellow Jackets went ahead after a fielder’s choice and walk put Job Norgress at second with two outs in the third inning. Norgress came around to score on a throwing error.
Denham Springs doubled the lead after Cole Rothman drew a walk and stole second to lead off the inning. Cade Cole scored him with a double to right field. Cole moved to third on a groundout and scored on a wild pitch to give Denham a 4-1 lead.
Denham couldn’t hold on to the lead, as Dunham came back in the fifth inning, scoring two runs on two hits, a walk, and a costly fielding error that allowed the second and third Tiger runs to score.
Denham responded with another run to make it 5-3 after Tanner Hall walked and scored on a wild pitch and throwing error, but Dunham kept its momentum and put two runs across via a fielder’s choice and single that came around to score on another Yellow Jacket error and sacrifice fly.
In the bottom of the sixth, the Yellow Jackets took the lead for good after a lead-off single from Cole and a walk to Lane Dudley came around to score on a pair of wild pitches.
Cole, who is in his first week back after missing the entire varsity season due to injury, went 2-for-2 with a walk and RBI in addition to scoring two of Denham’s crucial last three runs.
Dunham was able to get a run back after a leadoff walk came around the bases and scored on a sacrifice fly, but Denham Springs was able to hold on for a tight 7-6 victory.
“After they have a bad inning and make some snafus and some mistakes, they come back and they still compete,” Carroll said. “That’s what we want. We want them to compete and we want them to understand that it’s not over until that umpire says ‘ballgame.’ They’ve done a pretty good job of that.”