Tigers fall one win shy of state, ending season

Special to the Herald-Guide
May 13, 2009 at 3:10 pm  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

Justin Zoglio pitching in Hahnville High School’s last post-season game of the year. HHS lost to Dutchtown 8-0.
Justin Zoglio pitching in Hahnville High School’s last post-season game of the year. HHS lost to Dutchtown 8-0.
Hahnville's baseball season came to an end Monday, just one win shy of the 5A state tournament thanks to a familiar district foe.

The Dutchtown Griffins came to the West Bank for a regional round playoff game and left with an 8-0 victory, due in large part to a tight strike zone and 10 walks issued by Tiger pitching. All of those walks came during the first three innings.

Senior Jordan Unger, who threw 2 2/3 innings of scoreless relief in an 8-3 win against Ruston last Thursday, started the game for the Tigers.

He promptly hit the leadoff man and walked the next three batters.

"We rolled the dice a little bit," Hahnville head coach Kade Rogers said about starting Unger.

"Looking at everything including charts from previous games when we played Dutchtown, we felt that Unger was a good match up. They are a very good ballclub. Unger has been throwing well for us the last two weeks, and we thought it was our best match up."

Unger seemed to settle down after walking in the game's first run as he got out of the first allowing a lone runner against home.

But his day would end in the second, as the Griffins, who were facing the Tigers for the fourth time, scored two runs in the inning to take a 3-0 lead.

The Tigers had a chance to answer in the bottom half of the inning.

Seniors Seppe Crovetto and Buddy Trauth drew one-out walks, and junior Ryne Robert's bunt single loaded the bases.

But senior Blaise Dempster struck out and senior Brandon Young grounded out to end the inning.

"You can't give Dillon Day a three spot," Rogers said. "When you walk 10 guys, you don't put yourself in a very successful position."

The Griffins took control in the third scoring four runs off two Hahnville pitchers.

In the inning, Dutchtown (30-5) batted around and drew four walks and took advantage of a Tiger error.

While Hahnville pitchers struggled to find the strike zone, Dutchtown's Dillon Day (10-1) battled through early inning walks to hold Hahnville scoreless during his six innings of work. He also recorded his second playoff win and his 100th strikeout this season.

Day's lone loss came against Hahnville on March 31, when the Tigers prevailed 4-3 at home, but a repeat Monday was simply not to be.

Offensively, the Tigers (18-17) managed just three hits - one each by seniors John Gomez, Dempster and junior Robert.

Last Thursday, the Tigers defeated Ruston 8-3 in a bi-district playoff game on the road to advance to Monday's game.

Ruston has been a home away from home for the Tigers this season, and that continued in the playoffs as Hahnville used a five-run fifth to put the game away.

Young, who would later score on a wild pitch, and senior Ryan Waters began the inning with hits followed by walks to Gomez and senior Dillon Boudreaux.

Sophomore Jared Harrell drove in two runs with a hit, and Crovetto belted an RBI double. The final run would score on a Robert RBI hit.

Ruston answered with three runs in the bottom of the fifth off Waters, but Unger quieted the rally, holding the Bearcats scoreless for the final two innings.

Offensively, Gomez was 2-for-3 while Harrell was 3-for-4. Robert was 2-for-2, and all three had two RBIs each.

Rogers said although Monday's loss was tough, he was proud of his team's season.

"Overall, I think we had a great season. Nobody expected us to get to where we got, but it shows the hard work and effort that we put into each and every day," he said.

"We're a scrappy group so all we can do is coach them up and get better."

As for the future, the Tigers will lose nine seniors who saw significant playing time in 2009, but Rogers said the team's underclassmen will be ready to step up in 2010.

"We have just got to find a way to get better and find a way to get over the hump.”

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