BATON ROUGE – It would have been easy to call Denham Springs’ Metro League baseball game at St. Michael a comedy of errors, but none of the Yellow Jackets were laughing Tuesday evening.
With a handful of players nursing nagging injuries, a youthful Jackets lineup gave the Warriors more than enough help with eight errors as St. Michael gave Denham Springs its first Metro League defeat by the score of 11-5.
Denham Springs (4-1) scored single runs in the fourth and fifth innings to tie the game 2-2. The bottom fell out after that when St. Michael took advantage of seven hits, four walks and five errors to score nine runs in its final two at-bats.
“That’s the opposite of how we’ve been playing,” Denham Springs coach Mark Carroll said. “We might not have made seven errors in all those other games added together. That’s why today was really one of those games.”
The malaise caused by the defense extended to the pitching mound where Dalton Diez lacked his usual sharpness. He threw 100 pitches in five innings and walked five batters while allowing four hits and six runs.
“Diez is one of our better guys, but he was light years away from what he usually does,” Carroll said. “He was all-district first team, all-metro, but that was a 180 from his normal. It was like that for all of us. That was not what we’ve been doing."
Overall, three Denham Springs pitchers gave up eight hits and issued eight walks. At the plate, Larson Fabre and Job Norgress had RBI singles for the Jackets, who also scored runs on a steal of home, a wild pitch and an error.
St. Michael got four solid innings from starter Donovan Hall before he gave way to relievers Philip Hines and Cody Williams. The trio combined to allow just four hits while issuing only two walks.
The game was scoreless through three innings before Denham Springs took a 1-0 lead in the top of the fourth. Diez lined a two-out double to left and scored from third as part of a double steal after Brennan Hall reached base on an error.
St. Michael picked up a pair of runs in the bottom of the inning. After a throwing error helped land runners at second and third with one out, Mitch Bellan drove home both with a bad-hop single to right.
J.T. Gould led off the top of the fifth with a walk, and eventually came around to score on Norgress’ two-out single.
St. Michael came right back in the bottom of the inning. Aided by an errant throw to first on a sacrifice bunt and a dropped fly ball in right field, the Warriors scored four runs.
It was more of the same in the St. Michael sixth, when the Warriors added five runs. A bases-loaded single by Wren Parsiola cleared the bases after center fielder Fabre overran the ball trying to make a quick pick up for a throw to home.
Denham Springs trailed 11-2 turning the three runs it scored in the top of the seventh into an inconsequential footnote.
“You can’t make (eight) errors,” Carroll said. “I don’t care who you’re playing. The pitchers didn’t do a good enough job getting ahead in counts. We got behind, behind, behind. They got some hits, but the errors, that’s the biggest thing in this game.”