Retif Varsity Wins First Three, Falls in Semis
Retif Oil and Fuel entered the American Legion State Tournament on Friday and made it all the way to the Semi-final round on Sunday, July 13, 2020, before they lost to Gauthier Amedee 4-1.
Retif started the tournament off in stunning fashion by defeating Lucky Bags Cornhole 10-3 at John Ryan Stadium behind an impressive offensive effort from Collin Loupe, Chris Favalora, and Brian Valigosky.
From the bump, Ryan Porche pitched a solid 6 and 2/3 innings to keep all the pitching options open for later rounds.
Later that same day, Lucky Bags Cornhole came back with a vengeance and was leading the second game 2-1 going into the seventh inning.
Retif would not let this game get away without a win. Giovanni Licciardi started the comeback with a single. Will Hellmers followed with a double. Now, the winning run was on third for Valigosky.
He delivered the walk-off single, and Retif stormed the field.
Senior Connor Sarrat went the distance for Retif and continued the streak of keeping the bullpen fresh.
The next day, July 11, Retif traveled to Lutcher to take on The Noranda Bulldogs in a game that would make baseball purists proud. Retif Oil and Fuel got out to an early 2-0 lead behind RBI singles by Hellmers and Tripp Haddad. Those two runs would be the only runs of the contest for either side.
In the blistering heat, Retif’s Holden Hess was on fire by always getting ahead of Bulldog hitters and mixing in his diversity of pitches. After hitting the first batter, he rarely made a mistake.
By the end of the contest, Hess had given up no hits and helped his squad advance to the semi-finals.
When July 12 came around, Retif was ready to play against a familiar foe–Gauthier Amedee, a team they lost 9-1 against during the regular season. Hellmers started the scoring by hitting a solo shot in the first to grab an early 1-0 lead. Retif would keep it until the fourth when Gauthier Amedee tied it up with an RBI single.
Retif was poised to take it back in the sixth as Hellmers hit a double to get into scoring position with two outs. A couple of pitches later, Gauthier Amedee picked him off on a questionable call to end the inning and the threat.
Gauthier Amedee used the sixth to their advantage and took the lead behind back-to-back hit by pitches to score two runs and a sacrifice fly to score another.
In the end, Retif lost 4-1 despite a tremendous pitching performance from Michael King and another superior offensive performance from Hellmers.
Head coach Kenneth Goodlett challenged his squad throughout the American Legion campaign, and they continued to respond. Even when pitching was tight, players continued to step up. When a big hit was needed, someone answered the call.
While the ultimate goal was not achieved, this team won clutch games in front of their home crowd and on the road. Even when everything seemed against them, they came out and left it all out on the field–a mark of a truly special ball-club.