PONCHATOULA – To borrow from the slogan of a venerable investment firm, the Spillway Sportsman Legion baseball team got its win the old-fashioned way: they earned it.
The tri-parish Legion ballclub held back Ponchatoula with a runner on first to take a 6-5 win in the first-game of a Monday night doubleheader sweep at Athletic Park.
The Sportsmen came back to win 4-1 in the nightcap, sealing a night of baseball that lasted until nearly 11 p.m.
The first-game win came with an added bonus. The Sportsmen clinched a spot in the Legion playoffs, set to begin next week.
“We needed to come out here and get the first win for the playoffs, so that allowed us to come in to the second game and just enjoy ourselves,” Spillway Sportsmen Coach Jason Lemoine said.
The Sportsmen may notch a home berth for the first playoff round, as the second place team in the Legion West Division (behind division frontrunner Gauthier & Amadee of Gonzales.
The Sportsmen will face the top-ranked team in the East division.
Baton Rouge Community College’s J.J. Holmes – a former two-sport letter at Family Christian Academy -- finished 3-for-4 with two doubles and a single to lead the Sportsmen, while Brusly standout Tod Gauthe chalked one double.
Third baseman Brennan Maggio had an RBI single in the eighth.
The Sportsmen took a 2-0 lead in the second inning off two passed balls.
The Westside squad padded its lead with a run in the third.
Ponchatoula tied the game with three runs in the bottom of the sixth.
The Sportsmen sealed the win with three runs in the top of the ninth.
Ponchatoula finished with six errors. The Sportsmen had two.
Holmes scored the first run of the second game off a Connor Manola sacrifice. Holmes and Gauthe both got free rides to first after being hit by a pitch.
A Chris Patin bunt drove home Jarrod Jarreau to give the Sportsmen a 2-0 lead in the third.
Defense and pitching helped Ponchatoula hold back the Sportsmen, who left two runners stranded at the end of the third and finished the fourth empty-handed.
Regular season action ends Monday when the Sportsmen entertain Mandeville. First pitch is 5 p.m.