BATON ROUGE – Denham Springs missed a golden opportunity in the seventh inning of its non-district game against Catholic High on Tuesday afternoon.
With the bases loaded and one out in a tied game, the Yellow Jackets failed to take the lead.
However, the scenario changed one inning later when Denham Springs got three RBI-singles during a four-run eighth to defeat the Bears 6-2 at Grizzly Field.
Tristan Duhe got things going for the Yellow Jackets (6-4) with a leadoff double. David Frye delivered the first clutch hit – a single to right field which brought home courtesy runner Tanner Zeppuhar. Reese Smith and Noah Juan also had run-scoring singles with the fourth run coming home on a wild pitch.
“I was trying to put down a bunt and I didn’t get it done,” Frye said. “The count got to 3-2 and I was going to swing at anything close. I saw a pitch I liked and a I got it through the hole. We were not getting runs in early in the game. We found a way to get it done at the end.”
Frye, who took second on the throw to the plate, scored on a single by Smith. A sacrifice bunt by Brennan Hall moved Smith into scoring position. Smith came around to score on a passed ball by Matthew Lee and a wild pitch by reliever Luke Evans, who gave up the four eighth-inning runs.
Walks to Hayden Sills and Cade Doughty preceded a single by Juan which brought home the final run of the inning. Brandon Kohn, who worked two scoreless innings in relief, walked one and struck out two in the bottom of the eighth.
“Frye got us started with that hit in the eighth,” Yellow Jackets coach Mark Carroll said. “In baseball, things like that are contagious. One guy gets a hit and the at-bats get better. Everybody has competitive at-bats.”
Denham Springs tied the score at 1-1 with a run in the second inning. Frye had a one-out single and advanced to second on a wild pitch by Catholic starting pitcher Patrick Henry. After Smith flied out to the centerfielder, Frye scored on a single by Hall.
One inning later, the Yellow Jackets went ahead 2-1 on an unearned run. Doughty reached on an error and moved to third on a double by Juan. Tyler Evans’ sacrifice fly to right field drove in Doughty. Juan was stranded in scoring position when Duhe grounded out to the third baseman.
With the score tied at 2-2, Denham Springs had chances to retake the lead in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings. Doughty hit a two-out double in the fifth, but Juan lined out to the shortstop. Evans led off the sixth with a double but was doubled off second on Duhe’s liner to the shortstop.
The Yellow Jackets’ best opportunity to go in front occurred in the seventh. With one out, Sills singled, Josh Prescott walked and an intentional walk to Doughty loaded the bases. Pinch-runner Trey Cambre could not score on Juan’s shallow fly ball to centerfield and Evans struck out.
Denham Springs received a strong outing from starter Dalton Diez, who gave up two runs and four hits in six innings. Diez gave up a two-out RBI single to Jackson Thomas in the first and allowed Catholic (7-7) an unearned run in the third.
The Yellow Jackets defense helped Diez as it turned double plays to end the third and fourth innings.
Diez retired Mason Zambo on a ground ball to Smith at second base with a runner on third and two out in the fifth. Then, Diez stranded a runner in scoring position in the sixth by getting Jacob Wax to fly out.
“Diez did a great job on the mound and Brandon closed it out for us,” Carroll said. “Overall, our defense was pretty good. This was a well-played game by both teams.”
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