Summer Season Over as Retif Oilers Are Bounced Hard from American Legion State Tournament
Retif’s 9-1 Loss to Gauthier & Amedee Ends Oilers’ Bid for a Second Consecutive Legion State Championship
Last summer, Retif Oil went all the way to the final game of the American Legion World Series in Shelby, NC. The Oilers got there by first winning the Legion’s state tournament, then moving on to claim the Mid-South Regional Championship in North Little Rock, AK. Retif, the runner-ups at the Series (which they last won in 2012), played baseball almost three weeks in to August.
That was then and this is now.
The Oilers lost their bid to repeat as American Legion state champs when they suffered their second loss on Monday evening in the double elimination tournament. Gauthier & Amedee, a team consisting of prep players from Dutchtown, St. Amant, and East Ascension, put the big-time hurt on Retif by defeating the Jesuit-based Oilers, 9-1. If it weren’t for a wild pitch by GA’s reliever in the top of the ninth that allowed shortstop Andrew Cashman to score from third base, Retif might have gone down in a bleak shutout. GA had eight team hits (and two errors), and scored runs in every inning except the second and fourth.
GA’s starting pitcher, Tyler Tidwell, pitched eight innings of near-flawless baseball, flummoxing virtually the entire Oilers’ lineup. He struck out 16 Oilers in those eight innings. His reliever fanned two more in the top of the ninth for a total of 18 Oiler strikeouts. Tidwell struck out the entire side in the fourth and sixth innings, and he fanned at least two Oilers in the second, third, fifth, and seventh innings. GA’s outfielders could have sat cross-legged for the first four and one-third innings as Tidwell didn’t allow anything past the infield. The Oilers didn’t reach the outfield until the fifth inning, when second baseman Hunt Conroy hit a pop fly to right field. Tidwell walked a couple of Oilers and at least two others reached first base courtesy of throwing errors. But he held Retif hitless until the top of the eighth. That’s when backup catcher Parker Serio, the only freshman on the team, laced a one out single right up the middle.
The Oilers posted a total of 10 errors in their three games. Four were made against GA; three in the 7-1 loss to Otto Candies on Sunday; and three in the 7-6 win over St. Landry Bank on the tourney’s opening day.
Retif’s pitching staff was worn out to its bones. Starting pitcher Chris Beebe threw six full innings, giving up four runs on six hits and three strikeouts. He took the loss which evened his record to 2-2 for the Legion season. His reliever, Christian Hess, lasted one inning, the seventh, giving up one run on a single and striking out one batter. Actually, Hess didn’t “give up” anything. Rather, he watched helplessly as two consecutive throwing errors allowed the base runner, who was in the process of stealing second base, to head all the way home.
To start the bottom of the eighth, right hander Collin Kulivan went to the mound. In the span of some 15 minutes, GA notched one hit but scored four runs in almost every which way a team can in the glorious sport of baseball. The disastrous eighth saw two passed balls, a wild pitch, a GA batter plunked, and three walks, including one when the bases were loaded. There were no outs and the bases were still loaded when Coach Joey Latino beckoned Collin Miller, the team’s fourth pitcher, to the mound. The first batter Miller faced served up a ground ball to Serio (subbing for Marshall Lee at first base), who overthrew to catcher Alex Watermeier for the force out at home. But the Oilers quickly turned a double play and then the third out on a ground ball to third baseman Marc Theberge.
Coach Joey Latino’s Oilers finished the 2016 American Legion season with a 22-9-1 record.
The New Orleans Advocate: American Legion state tournament: Gauthier & Amedee eliminates defending champion Retif Oil with 9-1 win