NOAH squad takes home state championship

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 21, 2005

Only one blemish in APR’s run to Babe Ruth state championship


Sports Editor

KENNER—The NOAH based America’s Mortgage Resource All-Star team defeated perennial state champion JPRD-East 6-0 in the championship game of the 19 years old Babe Ruth State Championships in Kenner last Thursday evening. JPRD-East advanced to the finals with a 6-1 victory over archrival JPRD-West Wednesday. It is the first Babe Ruth State Championship for the River Parishes and the first state championship of any kind for NOAH.

AMR was again led by a strong pitching performance by Roland Rodrigue, 4-0 on the season. “Roland was just incredible again,” said Herb Stell of AMR. Rodrique won two games in the championship, had eighteen strikeouts, and did not surrender a run. He has only given up one earned run in four games this year, none in his last three. “Our pitching staff is solid. In our five tournament championship games, we gave up only three earned runs,” added Scott Boudreaux, AMR head coach.

While AMR is explosive offensively, the heart of the team is its pitching. Three of their four starters have already signed scholarships to pitch in college. Rodrique, who throws his fastball 88 to 89 miles per hour, signed with Alabama Southern; Alex McCollum, who can heat it up to the low 90’s, signed with LSU-Eunice; and Blake Gillies, who throws in the mid 80’s, has signed with Enterprise College in Alabama. Other pitchers include former East St. John stars Trayvon Lilly and Jamal “Moonie” Breaux and Matt Stell of Brother Martin High School.

In their only loss in the tournament, Blake Gillies scattered six hits while allowing just one earned run. JPRD-East won the 4-0, as AMR committed its only errors in tournament. Boudreaux said, “We had a couple of mental mistakes today and we did not help Blake at the plate, but East had to burn their ace (pitcher). We had Roland for the second game, so we felt confident enough to rest some of our kids in game one.”

The championship game was a pitcher’s duel until AMR broke through with an unearned run in the fourth. Stanley Borne led off with a single, advanced to second on a grounder by P.J. Millet. Rodrique walked and was replaced by Gillies as a pinch runner (starters can re-enter the game once). McCollum sacrificed advancing Borne and Gillies. East starter Jason Schexnayder threw a wild pitch, scoring the speedy Borne. “Stanley figures out a way to get on base and score. We needed to get that first run of the game,” said Herb Stell.

AMR broke the game open in the bottom of the sixth with five runs on three hits, the key was a two run bases loaded double by Lilly. Lead off hitter Nick Falgoust started the inning with a walk. Borne again singled bringing up Millet who grounded out, but advanced the runners. East decided to intentionally walk Rodrique to load the bases, but set up the double play. The plan backfired as reliever Dustin Goodlet hit McCollum, scoring Falgoust. Lilly’s double followed. Linson walked and Breaux reached first on a fielder’s choice. Sentimore drove in the fifth run with a single to center field, scoring Linson. Rodrique finished off JPRD-East with two strikeouts and a ground ball in the seventh inning to squash the threat.

The NOAH-based team will represent Louisiana in the Southeast Regional Championship beginning Friday in Denham Springs. The will face the Mississippi State Champions at 1:00 at North Park Field. The Regional Champion will advance to the Babe Ruth World Series in Ohio. in August. AMR-NOAH enters the Regional Championship with an 11-4 overall record.