By Malcolm Butler
Team Louisiana — the Ruston All-Star 10u squad that captured the state title just over a week ago — fought its way past Florida 13-2 in an elimination game Sunday to stay alive in the double elimination format at the World Series in Lumberton, North Carolina.
With the win, Team Louisiana advances to a 1 p.m. elimination game today against Texas. Fans can watch the game through a paid subscription at: https://www.jockjive.com/
Head coach Steve Davison said he was proud of the team for bouncing back after falling 12-2 to South Carolina in Saturday’s opening day.
“We have had some games get away from us this year so we have some experience with how to handle tough losses,” said Davison. “We talked before (Sunday’s) game about having our backs against the wall. We challenged them to focus and come out and play well. We did just that in all three phases of the game.”
Davison said that a talk from LA Tech head coach Lane Burroughs before the team left for North Carolina also helped with overcoming some adversity.
“Lane told them about an experience he had from playing little league,” said Davison. “A team he played on lost the first game but battled back and won a number of elimination games to advance all the way to the championship game. Our team had heard (from Lane) that it’s not impossible to win even if you lose that first game. He had some vivid memories from his little league days and we are grateful he shared them with us. A lot of our kids were talking about that after losing Saturday.”
Davison said Team Louisiana ran into a bit of a buzzsaw against South Carolina.
“We got off to a rough start,” he said. “We really had one bad inning where we gave up eight runs and dug ourselves a hole. Everything that could go wrong did go wrong. But South Carolina had some kids that could really hit and that’s what they did.”
In Sunday’s 13-2 win over Florida, Davison had plenty of good things to say about the performance.
“We got a great start out of Grant Alexander,” said Davison. “He threw 50 pitches and didn’t give up a hit. Joseph Davison, Rhodes Kilpatrick and Henry Walpole were all solid in relief and kept the lead for us. They did a great job.
“Offensively, we were led by Grey Ramsey who had an inside the park home run and Barnes Causey who had a triple. I tell our kids that any of them can be our best hitter on any day. That’s one of the strengths of this team. We have depth throughout the lineup.”
The 12-team tournament started with teams from Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia. After two days, the field has been narrowed down to nine teams and three more will be eliminated on Monday.