DENHAM SPRINGS -- Denham Springs High used a monster 4th inning rally to edge past Catholic High 7-6 Tuesday night.
The Yellow Jackets erased a four-run lead before there was an out recorded in the inning and then added three more runs for good measure to shock the Bears. Catholic pushed for a comeback late, but Denham was able to cling to a one-run lead at the end of the game.
“The kids did a good job of being patient at the plate,” DSHS coach Mark Carroll said. “I thought we squared some balls up pretty good. We hit a lot of balls right at them earlier and they made some good defensive plays. But all of a sudden, they started falling for us. We were trying to cut it half at least that inning and got a little carried away. Their math is not that good. They think that’s half.”
Denham starting pitcher Dawson Albin didn’t have a stellar night from the bump, allowing four runs on four hits in as many innings of work and walked seven.
“I was trying to work the inside corner,” Albin said. “The calls were here and there with the corner pitches. We couldn’t really do anything about it. They said I was hitting my spots, so I kept trying to do that and hoped for the best. It didn’t feel right once I got past the 2nd inning, so I just the best that I could.”
Added Carroll, “It was a little somber in the dugout. Dawson wasn’t nearly as sharp as he has been this year for us. You have got to win when you’re not your sharpest. You still have to compete, pitch and give your team a chance to win, which he did. He kept us in there after he gave up that couple in the first. That’s what you want your pitchers to do.”
Albin made up for shortcomings on the mound with a three-hit night and a critical run scored. As quick to admit exactly what went wrong for him in the top half of the innings, he was equally as glad he picked the right night to get hot at the plate.
“I was seeing it like a beach ball,” Albin said. “I haven’t been hitting well lately. I didn’t get any hits in Atlanta this weekend. I squared a few balls up but they went right at people. It felt good to get some base hits."
Catholic jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the 1st inning. Zach Ordeneaux led off the game with a walk, Bryan Bergeron advanced him to third with a sacrifice bunt and he scored on Brody Hebert’s single to right, with Hebert advancing to second bae on the throw home.
Cameron Dartez grounded into a fielder’s choice that got Hebert out at third, but he scores easily on Grant Segar’s ringing triple to right field. The Bears added another run in the 2nd inning after three straight walks moved Trey Gagliano (who also reached on a walk) around the bases station to station in a neat and orderly fashion.
Catholic took an inning off from scoring before putting another run on the board in the 4th. After Hebert’s one out single to right, the Bears used back to back steals to move him to third where he scored on Dartez’s sacrifice fly.
In the bottom half of the 4th, the Yellow Jackets offense found their groove. Denham busted out for seven runs on five hits in the inning. Hunter James started the inning with a walk, followed by Albin’s double and Brennan LeBlanc’s single plated James for the first run of the monster inning. Albin advanced to third on the hit and scored on a passed ball. Cole Montgomery also walked, chasing Catholic starter Landon Boeneke in the process.
Sam Hughes greeted new Bears’ pitcher Luke Evans with a single to left field to score LeBlanc. Evans walked Caleb Passman and Nick Moreau to load the bases for Cade Doughty, and that was enough to earn him the hook in favor of Patrick Herry.
Herry got Doughty to ground out, but a huge run scored in the process. In his second at-bat of the inning, James put the Yellow Jackets ahead for good with a two-run single to left field for a 7-4 lead.
“We just kept hitting the ball,” Albin said. “It was just a good night for us at the plate.”
But that wasn’t quite intense enough for this game.
Catholic surged back , this time against reliever Chandler Pope. Walks also got Pope in hot water. His one-out walk to Jacob Wax came around to hurt when Bergeron doubled him in with two outs and Dartez scored Bergeron with a hot shot between first and second base to pull the Bears within a run.
“We have to do a better job of closing innings when we get to two outs,” Carroll said.
The Yellow Jackets (10-7) left two runners on base in their half of the 5th inning, and at the time that seemed like a huge missed opportunity for them to grab some insurance runs. But Pope retired Catholic in order in the 6th inning for the first and only clean inning of the ball game. A hit by pitch and a walk made things hairy in the top of the 7th, but Pope was able to see the inning out and record the save.
“Chandler did really well coming in after me,” Albin said. “It was tough, but we don’t back down from nothing. We keep fighting and scratching. We never give up really”
DSHS heads to the Lafayette area later this week for the Atchafalaya Challenge. The Jackets start out against Acadiana at 4 p.m. Thursday and they take on St. Thomas More at 10 a.m. Saturday and Lafayette at 2 p.m.
DSHS 7, CATHOLIC HIGH 6
Catholic 210 120 0 -- 6 8 0
DSHS 000 700 x -- 7 11 0
Landon Boeneke, Luke Evans (4), Patrick Herry (4), and Brennan Lambert; Dawson Albin, Chandler Pope (5), and Brennan LeBlanc. W – Albin (4-1). L – Boeneke, Sv. – Pope (1). 2B: Catholic – Bryan Bergeron; DSHS – Albin, Cole Montgomery. 3B: Catholic – Grant Segar. Records: Catholic 11-5, Denham Springs 10-7. Up next: Atchafalaya Challenge – DSHS at Acadiana, 4 p.m.