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  • Shreveport Scorpions Post Successful Season in Red River 45+ Division

    Red River Adult Baseball League, 45+ Division

    'Re-tooled Scorpions Post Successful Season, Make it to Finals'

     

    Submitted by Charlie Cavell, Scorpions manager

    It was a big transitional year for the Shreveport Scorpions. At the beginning of the year, I spoke with Red River Adult Baseball League (LA) president David Pratt. He was deeply concerned about the solvency of 45+ division. The Shreveport Scorpions, which had won the division nearly every years since its inception, was expected to disband. Longtime manager Max Hahnel decided to retire as did a number of the players. No one was volunteering to take over the team. At the same time there were rumors that the Elysian Fields Hawks were disbanding as well. This was disturbing news to me. I saw my days of playing baseball going away.

    I had been playing for years with the Shreveport Tigers, but upon hearing this news from Pratt I told him that for the betterment of the division and the RRABL I’d be willing to take over as the manager of the Scorpions. It was not an easy decision because I’m a fiercely loyal person and because I knew I’d receive some pushback from the Tigers’ manager and some players. Also, I didn’t know if any of the "old guard” returning Scorpions would want or play for me as their manager. Despite my trepidation, I volunteered to take over the team. 

    I contacted all the returning players seeking their approval and much to my delight all were okay with me being their new manager. I then had to seek out and find new players, which I was fortunate to find a solid group of players to join the Scorpions.

    With the cast of veterans and new players it took the team a while to jell. It also took me a short time to be comfortable in my new role as player/manager. We also were hampered a bit with injuries to some of our key players. As the season progressed, so did the Scorpions. The more we played the better we became. Even though we didn’t finish where we had hoped in the division, we made the playoffs and were fortunate enough to defeat Elysian Fields in the first round.

    As a player, all you can ask for is a chance to play for a championship. Despite our early struggles, the Scorpions were back in the championship game. The Ruston Dawgs were arranged for the championship game to be played at Louisiana Tech University’s J.C. Love Field at Pat Patterson Park. A couple of years ago the park had a beautiful new artificial grass surface installed. Playing at this beautiful facility to decide the championship of theRRABL 45+ Division made the whole environment special.

    Left-hander Bobby Malmay started on the mound for the Scorpions. This is the same man whose future was uncertain, not just regarding baseball, but life. A week or so before the season started Malmay had a pace maker installed. Originally, he was just going to be my assistant manager. However, a month or so into the season he received clearance from his physicians that he could start pitching again. Malmay kept us in the game until I had to lift him in the fifth.

    Despite being down three runs heading into the eighth, we managed to tie the game and ultimately take the lead in the top of the ninth. Ruston’s Joe Lockhart, who’s the head baseball coach at Quitman High School, came on in relief of Darrien Dukes in the ninth, and kept it at a one-run advantage for Shreveport. In the bottom of the ninth, Ruston had tied the game 8-8 and had runners on second and third. We intentionally walked Scott Heirs, who had homered and doubled, to set up a force at any base. Lockhart laced a single down the left-field line giving the Ruston Dawgs a 9-8 walk-off win and the championship. Lockhart was voted the MVP as he pulled off the incredible feat of delivering the game-winning hit and RBI as well being the game-winning pitcher.

    Despite the heart-breaking loss it was a good year for the Shreveport Scorpions. We hope to come back and reclaim the title in 2018.

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