Little League squads from around the state converge on Reserve

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 30, 2005


Sports Editor

RESERVE-Starting July 1, St. John Parish is about to become the mecca of Little League Baseball in Louisiana

The St. John Parish Parks and Recreation Department will be playing host to the 2005 Dizzy Dean State tournament for 9-10 year olds beginning July 1 at Regala Park in Reserve.

The top two finishers in each age bracket will advance to the Dizzy Dean World Series later this year.

“It is really going to be a fun time,” Director Errol Manuel said. “Because this is the first time in parish history that we are hosting an event like this. We have won it before and made it to the World Series, now we finally get a chance to host, now we finally get a chance for the state to come in and see the type of event and things that we can put on.

“If we do this correctly, we hope that it will be an annual thing for us. We will continue to put in bids every year. Being that this is the first one that we have ever hosted, everyone is really pumped.”

Manuel said the local contingent is very excited and still a bit nervous to be performing in front of a hopefully large home crowd.

“They are more nervous than excited,” Manuel said. “That is simply because they do not want to lose two games. They want to hold court at home. They know that they are going to have a lot of friends there, so they are a little bit hesitant.”

Representing the area, Manuel said both Warriors squads have excellent chances to advance to the World Series.

“The 9-year old squad has an excellent chance to advance,” Manuel said. “The thing that sets them apart from a lot of other squads is their team speed which allows them to be a station-to-station ball club. You are going to see a lot of bunting and running. Darnell Lee, Timothy Nelson, Kolby Morgan and a host of other players will give them a legitimate chance to advance.

“The 10-year old squad has a lot of hitters. 1-10 in the lineup they are going to hit. Eric and Coy Taylor lead that team. They are going to win games 17-16, 13-12. The thing that they don’t have is pitching depth. They are going to put the ball in play though.”

Manuel said volunteers are still needed and come to the gate on the first day of action.

“We are always looking for volunteers,” Manuel said. “We will find work for them to do. People are awelcome to walk up the first day of action and volunteer.”