Tied at 4, Oilers and Otto Candies Call It Quits, Giving Darkness the Win
After one scoreless extra inning to break a tied ball game between the Retif Oilers and Otto Candies on Monday evening, it was obvious that darkness was swiftly enveloping the unlit field at Hahnville High School.
Retif Oil Coach Joey Latino was asked by Otto Candies Coach David Baudry if he wanted to start a new frame. Coach Latino immediately declined the offer and the home team’s coach was not one to protest. Both coaches, normally über-competitive, were happy to walk away with a 4-4 tie in favor of getting rest for their arm-weary squads, especially given the impending arrival this weekend of what really counts in American Legion baseball — tournament play. If the weather cooperates, the Legion’s District Tournament is scheduled to be played at Kirsch-Rooney Stadium beginning Friday, June 26, and concluding on Monday, June 29.
Already exhausted from a four-day tournament, the Oilers (13-5-1) kept to their season schedule with Monday’s jaunt up the river to play Otto Candies. The game began at 5 p.m. with plenty of light and the Oilers wasted no time putting up a pair of runs in the first inning. Dan Edmund, who blooped a single to right field and then stole second base, scored on Trent Forshag’s single to left field. Ben Hess hit a double that sent Forshag home.
In the second inning Harrison Daste singled and was brought home on Alex Galy’s double to give the Oilers a 3-0 lead. It did not last long as Otto Candies pushed across three runs on only one hit to tie the game in an ugly third inning. The game stayed tied until the fifth inning, when Nick Ray, who drew a walk, scored on back-to-back singles by Edmund and Forshag.
In the bottom of the seventh, Otto Candies was not about to concede and tied the game once again. With the bases loaded and only one out, a walk-off win for Otto Candies appeared imminent. Retif reliever Todd Crabtree struck out the next batter. Galy made a major league play at shortstop for the third out when he fielded a sharply hit grounder, turned on a dime, and fired a rocket to Edmund at first base.
Galy wasn’t the only Oiler showing off his exemplary defensive skills. Catcher Trent Forshag twice threw out runners who were trying to steal second base. Ben Hess had an unusually busy game playing right field, highlighted by a sliding grab of a foul ball at the fence.
Crabtree, who relieved starter Mark Beebe in the third inning, pitched five and two thirds innings, giving up one run. His streak of twelve and two thirds consecutive innings without yielding a hit ended in the sixth, when Otto Candies’ lead-off batter grounded a single up the middle.
Crabtree’s brother, Scott, missed his seventh game since severely spraining an ankle against First NBC back on June 15. Starting second baseman Brandon Briuglio was also inactive, recuperating from severe cramping at the end of Sunday’s doubleheader in Lafayette (see “Five Games, Four Days, Three Cities, Second Place” story).
The Oilers return to action Tuesday night, June 23, for a 6:30 p.m. road contest versus Mandeville-based LLOG Exploration. Then, it’s back to Kirsch Rooney for a 7 p.m. Wednesday contest against Holy-Cross-based Ponstein’s.