The ball gets past Jennings third baseman Kaleb Chaisson as the Yellow Jackets' Dayton Sonnier slides into the bag Tuesday in Iowa. (Kirk Meche / Special to the American Press)
Last Modified: Wednesday, March 26, 2014 4:53 PMIOWA — After weathering an early storm, Jennings starting pitcher Evan Guillory did everything he could to give the Bulldogs a chance to win Tuesday night.
When it was said and done, the guts the Bulldogs showed early bit them in the bottom of the ninth inning. Center fielder Bryce Fontenot attempted to throw out Iowa’s Layne Armentor at third base, but the ball sailed into the dug out, allowing Armentor to score the winning run in a dramatic 6-5 win to open District 4-3A play.
“There’s going to be nine more like that in District 4-3A with the teams and pitchers in our district,” Iowa head coach Sean Richard said.
It was Guillory’s turn Tuesday night. The right-hander went into extra innings for the Bulldogs (8-10, 0-1), going 72⁄3 innings and striking out 12 and giving up four hits in a no-decision. Iowa reliever Dayton Laborde picked up the win after throwing 31⁄3 innings and striking out two. Kaleb Chaisson took the loss.
“Normally his breaking ball is not as sharp as it was tonight,” Richard said. “But, he knew he was going to have to throw his breaking ball because we were hitting his fastball. We couldn’t lay off of it for a little while there.”
Iowa (12-5, 1-0) tagged Guillory for four runs in the fifth inning, led by a Brad Whittington two-RBI triple and Dayton Sonnier RBI single.
The Bulldogs caught up to fading Iowa starter Thomas Lebleu in the fifth inning, responding with four runs. Catcher Joey Scogins cleared the bases with a two RBI-double to tie the score at 4.
The teams traded dramatic runs in the eighth inning, with Jennings designated hitter Brett Fontenot driving in a leaping Chaisson in the top half before Iowa’s Trendyn Richard drove in Whittington in the bottom half to tie it at 5.
“We have seven new starters this year,” Richard said. “(With this team) it’s never say die; it’s all in. Trust in the program and let’s just see what happens.”
Jennings loaded the bases with one out in the top of the ninth before a double play ended the threat and handed Jennings the hard-luck loss.
“That’s what makes baseball so great is those endings right there,” Jennings head coach Jordan Smith said. “We did some things throughout the game that we felt we should’ve did better to not be in that situation.”