Ruston 7u All-Stars advance to World Series

Front Row (L to R): 
Raleigh Vining, Sutton Simmons, Rhodes Jeffords, Turner Kilpatrick, Hudson Walpole, Eli Shannon

Second row (L to R): 
Jagger Ingram, Brooks Telford, Connor King, Jack White, Hayden Frost, Tristan Case

Back Row (Coaches):
Jeremy Vining, Jacob Simmons, Ryan Kilpatrick, Jimmy Shannon

by Malcolm Butler

The Ruston American All-Star 7u team won the Dixie State Championship Sunday, defeating Tioga 3-0 at Ward 10 in Tioga, Louisiana.

With the win, the team qualified for the upcoming Dixie World Series July 21 through the 24 in Monroe.

“It was a fun weekend of good baseball,” said coach Jeremy Vining. “We had a goal, and that was to leave Tioga on Sunday as the Louisiana State Champions.”

The Ruston team is comprised of Tristan Case, Hayden Frost, Jagger Ingram, Rhodes Jeffords, Turner Kilpatrick, Connor King, Eli Shannon, Sutton Simmons, Brooks Telford, Raleigh Vining, Hudson Walpole and Jack White. They are coached by Ryan Kilpatrick, Jimmy Shannon, Jacob Simmons and Vining.

Ruston won first place in district competition in Haughton to advance to the state competition, where they posted a 7-2 record. They posted a 2-1 record in pool play to earn the top seed and then won five out of six games in the double elimination format.

On Championship Sunday, Ruston defeated Ville Platte 15-1 and Tioga 12-2 before winning the championship game against Tioga 3-0.

According to Vining, the team’s slogan was “Who wants it?”

“We would yell ‘Who wants it?’ And the players would reply, ‘We do!” said Vining.

The Dixie World Series will be a 12-team double elimination format. Teams competing at it include: Ruston; Tioga; Ville Platte; Southeastern Alabama; Laurel, Miss.; Texarkana, Ark; Columbia, Miss; Georgia; Bullard, Texas; Montgomery, Ala; Paris, Texas; and EORD (East Ouachita), La.