LIVINGSTON – Given the recent history of close games between their teams, Doyle coach Tim Beatty and Maurepas coach Anthony Gregoire should have seen this one coming.
The Tigers and Wolves got complete games from their starters – Andrew Yuratich for Doyle and LA Salinas for Maurepas – and Brock Adams’ two-run single in the bottom of the sixth inning lifted Doyle to a 2-0 win Saturday morning at Johnny Sartwell Park as part of the Doyle Tournament.
“For nine years I’ve been the head guy here, and every game with those guys has been decided by one or just a couple,” Doyle coach Tim Beatty said after his team moved to 9-7. “It’s always great baseball, and that’s how it’s supposed to be played. I kept reminding our guys we’re going to be good on the mound, but stay focused at the plate, stay in there, be aggressive late in the game, and something’s going to fall, and it did.”
Maurepas coach Anthony Gregoire echoed Beatty’s sentiment after his team dropped to 4-7.
“We’re not a power-hitting team,” Gregoire said. “We’ve got to score a couple runs, and I told them I think if we could have gotten one or two runs in this game right here, we would have won the things, but they got the two runs, and we didn’t get any. That was the difference in the game.
“Any time we play any parish school, it’s just a battle because we know each other so well, we play each other so well, us coaches have all got a good rapport with each other. It’s fun. It’s good baseball.”
The bottom of the sixth was set up after Doyle stranded a pair of runners in the bottom of the fifth, and Maurepas returned the favor in the top of the sixth.
Braden Mclin walked, Braden Keen legged out an infield bunt for a single, and Tyson Stewart’s chopper to third moved the runners to second and third.
From there, Gregoire opted to intentionally walk Doyle catcher Cole Mack to load the bases, bringing up Adams, who singled past short to bring in the game’s only runs.
“We had him roll out to three times to the third baseman,” Gregoire said of Adams. “We were going to go home-to-first for a double play, and he found the six-hole with a little leaking ground ball. First base was open, so we’ve got to put that situation and keep the force on.”
“I think that was a good decision on their part,” Beatty said of the walk to Mack. “Brock found one he could hit and drove it through the infield.”
Adams, who said he got a curveball from Salinas on the game-winning hit, said he welcomed the opportunity after Mack drew the walk.
“I was like, ‘I finally get to go up in a big spot to try to get a hit and put my team ahead,’” Adams said. “I couldn’t have done it without the other three people that got on before me. I was just happy -- happy they scored; happy I got them in and put us on top to get the win.”
Brooks Beatty grounded out to Salinas and Bo Ellzey struck out looking to end the inning.
Landon Wolfe made a diving catch on Chase Penalber’s fly ball to left, and Yuratich struck out the next two batters to end the game.
In the first inning, both teams had runners thrown out at second after leadoff singles. Doyle put two runners on in the bottom of the first on consecutive errors at third after Logan Turner was thrown out at second after a leadoff single.
The Wolves turned a 5-3 double play to get out of the inning.
Both pitchers gave up singles in the second inning, and Yuratich, who dealt with back problems last week, hit Hunter Dupuy with two out in the top of the third, but the game remained scoreless.
The starters found a groove after that as the teams were retired in order from the bottom of the third to the top of the fifth.
Adams led off the bottom of the fifth with a walk, but courtesy runner Hunter Mizell was thrown out at second before Brooks Beatty walked and Wolfe singled off the glove of Maurepas shortstop Cole Bovia, who made a diving attempt at the ball after having to track it down in the outfield. Turner grounded to short to end the threat.
“It was just keeping them off balance – trying to throw my curveball and mixing in my fastball with it,” said Salinas, who struck out five and gave up five hits in the loss. “I don’t have speed, so you’ve got to pitch, not throw, with that situation.”
Maurepas returned the favor in the bottom of the inning when Bovia reached on an error at short and Chase Guitreau singled past second. Trevor Bovia popped up to Mack, who was unable to make the catch. The ball was ruled a foul, and Trevor Bovia grounded out to third to end the inning.
“I was doing my best not to walk anybody, because if I walk somebody, it’s most likely going to lead to a run,” Yuratich said after hurling a three-hitter with eight strikeouts.
“The curveball was working good today.”
Gregoire is hopeful the game will help his team as the season continues.
“We’re playing a lot better baseball,” he said. “We’re playing good, quality teams right now, so we’re taking some knocks, but I think by the end of the year, we’ll be a lot better.”
Doyle is hovering just above the .500 mark, right where Beatty wants his team in hopes of earning a top-10 spot in the power rankings and the home playoff game that comes with that standing.
“We’ve got a lot of tough games coming up, but every win counts, every win matters,” Beatty said. “That’s all that matters.”
DOYLE 11, PINE 8
The Tigers rallied from a 7-6 deficit with a three-run fourth to pick up the win.
Turner and Mclin each had two hits, while Adams Mizell combined to give up 10 hits with nine strikeouts.