Comets add spark to Southland Hogs championship team: Dixie Youth Baseball World Series scheduled for July 24-28
LAPLACE — Nick Lorio and Kaile Levatino left a legacy at St. Charles Catholic High School when they broke a longstanding curse and helped the Comets land their first baseball championship in 2019.
One year later, Lorio and Levatino are still making moves on the baseball diamond. They are members of the Southland Hogs 18U baseball team, fresh off a state championship win and headed for the Dixie Youth Baseball World Seriestaking place July 24-28 in Ozark, Alabama.
The 18U Hogs, based in Houma, defeated Monroe 6-1 Monday night during the Dixie State baseball tournament in Sterlington.
Levatinoand Lorio proved strong at the bat during the state tournament. Levatino smashed three hits and Lorio added two clutch hits against Monroe.
The team collected a record of 19-5-1. Made up mostly of players from Terrebonne and Lafourche, the Hogs have powerhouse players including Nick Brunet of South Terrebonne and Bryce Grizzaffi of Central Catholic High School.
Brunet contributed three hits, a double and a run batted in during Monday’s championship. Hogs coach JoeTeuton said the St. John the Baptist Parish boys have been great additions to a team with a long history of success.
“Kaile is our three-hole hitter. He played shortstop and was one of our better players. Basically he would be the MVP,” Teuton said. “Nick batted four-hole, and he was huge for us.The St. Charles Catholic guys are pretty much leading the way. They kind of set the tone of everything we did.”
Lorio has previously played for the Pedal Valves Cardinals American Legion baseball team. In June 2019, he was selected as the Greater New Orleans Amateur Athlete of the Month. He graduated from SCC in 2019 and joined the roster at Delgado. His 2020 freshman season saw a strong start before COVID-19 paralyzed the nation.
Levatino, a 2020 graduate at St. Charles Catholic, also plans to attend Delgado to study industrial maintenance technology and continue his baseball career.
Teuton feels good about the Hogs’ chances in the World Series after watching them compete in the state championship.
“I felt like our guys were really prepared. In the championship game, we took care of business. We did what we needed to do,” Teuton said. “If we go over there (to the World Series) and pitch good and continue to play, I think we have a really good chance at competing, if not winning the whole thing.”
The Southland Hogs also had some summer play in the American Legion league, which cancelled its world series out of caution for the health and safety of players, coaches and families.
The American Legion state tournament wrapped up this weekend Gauthier Amedee Wombats taking the title. Riverside Academy baseball coach Marty Luquet headed the Wombats, a team made up of athletes from Ascension Parish.
With the Dixie World Series coming up, the summer isn’t over yet for the Southland Hogs. Teuton is proud of his team for persevering in uncertain times.
“The guys did the best that they could possibly do considering all the changes. They were very happy to get to play,” Teuton said. “Considering the times and the situations, it was a little difficult. The kids did a good job of making an effort and getting the games in.I think it was a stepping-stone, especially for our seniors who missed out on their senior year. I think these guys at least got a finish or a say so in their high school baseball careers.”