GEISMAR -- Live Oak found itself with a depleted roster Monday at Dutchtown in a Metro League game, but the Eagles made the most of what they had to slip past the Griffins 6-3.
Cameron Dickerson’s two-run triple sparked the Live Oak offense while Dylan McDonald tested out a new arm slot on the mound with 6 innings of work.
“We were missing some guys so we had some people in new spots,” said Live Oak coach Greg Briggs, who was happy with the weather as well as his team’s play. “We kind of had a skeleton crew, but I thought we came out and competed. Hopefully, we’ll get a full week of games in for once this summer.”
One the players who stepped up was McDonald, who has tinkered with his pitching style this summer. The Metro League has been the perfect vehicle for him to work new arm slots.
An upcoming senior, McDonald came on in relief of starter Jordy Adams in the 2nd inning. He finished out the game, and gave up two runs on six hits with five strikeouts and one walk.
Both runs came in the 4th inning, when Dutchtown had a double and two singles. Briggs was impressed by McDonald’s ability to recover after it appeared Dutchtown might have solved him.
“He got in a little trouble and made an adjustment on the mound,” Briggs said. “As a coach, that’s what you’re looking for.”
Briggs has had McDonald using multiple arm slots for his delivery. Against Dutchtown, McDonald used three-quarter and submarine deliveries. It was enough to keep the Griffins guessing for most of the game.
“It’s a work in progress but it keeps hitters off-balance,” McDonald said. “It’s definitely harder (for batters) when you can throw multiple pitches from multiple arm slots as long as you stay around the plate and throw strikes.”
It was a formula that worked for McDonald after Dutchtown scored in the 4th inning. The Griffins were limited to two hits, singles in the 5th and 7th innings, the rest of the way.
McDonald’s new arm slot is a submarine delivery, which he began working on in late March.
“He’s done a good job and he’s had a good attitude about it,” Briggs said of the change. “He struggled a little bit in the early games, but I think he’s really gotten comfortable changing arm slots.”
Offensively, Live Oak struck for an unearned run in the top of the 1st. Boosted by Dickerson’s triple and a Dutchtown error, the Eagles scored five times in the 3rd inning.
“We got in a position where I had runners on first and second,” Dickerson said. “Their pitcher got down in the count, and he threw me a fastball right down the middle.”
Dickerson was also hit by a pitch and finished 1-for-2. Catcher Cade Freneaux was 2-for-4 and scored twice. Both players drew postgame praise from Briggs.
“I think Dickerson learned a lot playing as a sophomore in the spring. I think the game is slowing down for him,” Briggs said. “He’s been working hard in the weight room and also with the football team at quarterback. I think that’s helped him mentally.”
Freneaux also plays football for Live Oak when he’s not playing catcher.
“Freneaux had a really good game at the plate,” Briggs said. “He’s catching for us, but he’s swinging the bat really well.”
Dutchtown tied the game 1-1 in the bottom of the 1st inning when Trey Martin scored from third on Dalton Barbier’s fielder’s choice ground ball. In the 4th, Cole Morrison scored on Slade Laney’s grounder to first, and Greg Dyson drove in Frank Miller with an RBI single.
The Griffins used six pitchers in the game. The only Dutchtown pitcher to throw more than one inning was Cadon Story, who limited Live Oak to one hit in its final two at bats.