Beware Gators, St. Amant eliminates Tors with eight-run outburst in sixth

Published 9:17 am Friday, May 13, 2022

SULPHUR — No. 4 Sulphur cruised in the early innings, but No. 8 St. Amant exploded for eight runs in the sixth inning to win 10-7 Thursday night and advance to Saturday’s Class 5A state championship game at McMurry Park.

The Tors led 7-2 heading into the sixth inning when the momentum made a 180-degree turn.

“We know this is a game of momentum,” Sulphur head coach Sam Moore said. “We did jump out to a good start. I wouldn’t want it any other way. We wanted to come out and get to that guy, and we kept battling.

“Tip your hat to the other team. They didn’t quit. They clawed away at us. I thought there were some borderline calls we didn’t get on balls and strikes, but we are not making excuses. This is the game of baseball. Momentum switched on us. We tried to grab it back. It just wasn’t enough at the end.”

St. Amant will play No. 2 West Monroe in the final at 6 p.m. Saturday. The Rebels rallied from a five-run deficit, winning 6-5 over Dutchtown on a Trey Hawsey three-run walk-off  home run.

St. Amant’s (34-7) Landon Stewart led off the sixth with a triple and scored on a double by Connor Molaison. The Tors got an out on a bases-loaded sacrifice fly, but the Gators kept chipping away at the lead, tying it at 7-7 on an RBI single to center field by Ashtyn Ellis. Cole Sims scored the go-ahead run on a bases-loaded walk, and Layne Swanson hit a two-run single to pad the Gators’ lead.

Sulphur (32-8) was playing in the semifinal for the first time since 2018 and will return all but four graduating seniors next season.

The Tors worked out of a jam in the fourth and fifth innings before the Gators’ big sixth inning.

The Gators scored two runs in the fourth, but Jake Brown was able to close the door with a strikeout. Brown did it again in the fifth inning with a pair of strikeouts with the bases loaded and one out.

The Tors were on cruise control early after racing to a 6-0 lead.

Sulphur scored five runs in the second inning on the three hit batters and a walk, plus a pair of two-run singles by Gage Trahan and Dillion Bird.