This past weekend, an outstanding summer baseball tournament was held in Baton Rouge. It's name may ring a bell with professional wrestling lovers, but this Summer Slam is all about baseball.
There were 16 teams in the tournament with two from Texas and 14 from all over south Louisiana. Brazos Valley Renegades from College Station and East Texas Gladiators from Beaumont made the trip to Baton Rouge.
Louisiana was well represented by teams from New Orleans, the Northshore, Houma and Lafayette.
The tournament was hosted by the Marucci White Sox, coached by two-time CWS Champion pitcher Ronnie Rantz, and played at three different sites: Pete Goldsby Field (home of the Baton Rouge Community College Bears), Lee Hines Field (home of the Southern Jaguars) and for the first time ever, the “new” Alex Box Stadium (home of LSU).
Marucci entered a total of three teams in the tourney featuring former LSU great Matt Liuzza as coach of one squad and longtime summer coach Chad Raley heading another. Danny Riehm and his two-time Dizzy Dean World Series Champions New Orleans Spice were also in the field. Summer powers Southland Hogs from Houma and Gauthier & Amedee from Ascension Parish, coached by Justin Morgan, also participated. Pitch-by-Pitch Mizuno headed up by former LSU coach Bill Daley had two teams in the field.
Many current and future college players dotted the teams. LSU signees Andrew Stevenson, Chase Rivet and Mark Laird all played while 2011 LHSAA All-Star game MVP Kade Scivicque played for the Marucci White Sox. Players from Tulane, Southeastern, Nicholls State, Southern University, Baton Rouge Community College and UL-Lafayette were among the many schools represented. All colleges had coaches present working the stop watches, jugs guns and taking notes. The crowds at all three parks were treated to some top notch baseball.
The championship went to the Marucci White Sox, coached by Rantz and 2009 CWS LSU champion Buzzy Haydel. The MVP was Laird, an Ouachita Christian alum and new LSU signee who is an outstanding outfield prospect with speed to burn. The runner-up team was Pitch-by-Pitch Mizuno coached by Andrew Rafalowski.
This tournament will expand next summer. It will use ULL’s Moore Field as a site as well. This is a well-run event that gives fans a chance to see some of the top baseball talent our state (and neighboring states) have to offer.
Tommy Krysan is the host of “Tigers Roar” a live TV show each Wednesday night at 8:00 pm on Pelican Sports TV in Baton Rouge, Lafayette and New Orleans. He also hosts Pelican Sports Radio, Monday – Friday, 3:00-4:00 pm in Baton Rouge on KKAY 1590 AM. Online at; kkay1590.com or globalradiokkay.com
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