By Malcolm Butler
The Ruston 9U All-Stars punched their ticket to the Dixie Youth Boys World Series this past weekend at the Tinsley Athletic Complex in Bossier City.
After finishing second in district play to advance to the state tournament, Head Coach Chris Shelton and Co. went undefeated in the state event, posting a 5-0 record on their way to the title.
“These boys have gone from being good athletes to being great young baseball players,” said coach Matt Pullin. “They have really embraced Coach Shelton’s cheer ‘There is no I in team and I got your back.'”
Ruston opened pool play with a 6-4 win over South Sabine on Friday and then came right back on Saturday with an 11-7 win over Concordia and a 10-1 win against Alexandria.
Bracket play (single elimination) began Sunday as Ruston defeated Buckeye 5-1 to advance to the championship game in a rematch with South Sabine.
The Ruston boys dominated in the championship game, prevailing 14-4 to claim the title and earn a spot in the World Series set for July 19-23 in Center, Texas.
Ruston 9U is comprised of coaches Chris Shelton, Riley Rushing and Matt Pullin. The roster includes Chance Butler, Jessie Ford, Matthew Hyde, Brody Jemerson, Apollo Odom, Cooper Powell, Sam Pullin, Riley Rushing, Chris Shelton, Raiden Underwood, Kingston Venzant and Ezekiel Wilson.