A letdown after an emotional game is always a possibility.
That wasn’t the case Thursday.
The Gents came out swinging, literally, and banged out 10 hits in a 9-3 victory over Westlake in a pivotal District 4-3A matchup at Miller Stadium.
“I was actually very worried about tonight’s game,” said Doughty, whose team improved to 9-11 overall and 3-3 in league play with the victory. “Any time you’re coming off such an emotional game such as Tuesday, we were worried about the frame of mind we would show up in tonight. But, although we started out a little slow, I thought the guys responded well.”
Steven Bertrand led the Gents offensive explosion with a 3-for-3 performance that left him a home run shy of the cycle. The senior third baseman, who had slumped earlier in the year, had an RBI double in the first inning, an RBI single in the third and a triple in the fifth. He walked in his final plate appearance in the sixth.
“Steven is really swinging a hot bat right now,” said Doughty. “He struggled early in the season but the last three ballgames, he’s not only had several hits, he’s had several extra base hits. He’s hitting the ball with a lot of pop right now and we’re excited about him catching fire like that.”
Taylor Doughty was also 3-for-3 on the night. The senior speedster singled to left field in the third inning and had infield singles in the first and fourth frames. He scored three times.
“We have several guys stepping up at the plate right now,” said Doughty. “Things are looking up in that category so we’re excited about that. We just have to keep playing defense and keep swinging the bats and hopefully we’ll be alright down the stretch.”
The Gents also got a lift from Mackay Mouton. The sophomore pitcher, who gave up four runs in just under three innings Tuesday, pitched 3 2/3 innings against the Rams in relief. He gave up one run on three hits while walking two and striking out four.
Taylor Doughty worked the first 3 1/3 innings and surrendered two runs on three hits and five walks.
“It had been several days since Taylor had a start so we decided to go with him,” said coach Doughty. “We got three (innings) out of him but he didn’t have his best stuff by any means.
“Mackay came in and actually looked much stronger than he did Tuesday night. We were excited for him.”
The Gents jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning after Doughty and Bradley Ancelet each reached base on infield singles. Doughty eventually scored on a fielder’s choice by Brody Deshotel and Ancelet crossed the plate on Bertrand’s double.
Westlake answered right back in the top of the second inning. Devon Pharris and Tim Hamilton recorded back-to-back singles to start the rally. Pharris scored on a fielder’s choice by Drake Rawles and Hamilton was plated on a sacrifice fly by Wyatt Stevens to tie the game at 2-2.
Crowley took the lead for good one inning later when the Gents scored four runs on four hits and two errors. Bertrand and Mickey Morgan each had an RBI in the frame.
Weslake’s final run crossed the plate in the top of the fifth when Cody Miller walked and scored on a triple by Ryan Feagin.
Bertrand tripled to lead off the bottom of the frame and scored on a sacrifice fly by Morgan.
Doughty and Deshotel each drew walks in the sixth. Doughty eventually scored on a single to right field by Mouton and Deshotel scored on an error.
“We knew they were going to come prepared to play and it was going to be a battle,” said Doughty. “We had to fight just like any other district game. There’s just not an easy win in this district.”
Notre Dame currently sits atop the league standings at 5-1 and South Beauregard is second at 4-2. Crowley follows at 3-3 while both Jennings and Iowa, who still have a rainout to makeup, are at 2-3. Weslake rounds out the standings at 1-5.
“We’re 3-3 in district with four big ones left,” said Doughty. “I think it’s going to come down to who can stay hot here in the last two weeks and we’re just glad to still be in the hunt.”