Boys Varsity Baseball · American Legion Baseball Tournament – Let’s Play Ball!


The American Legion Baseball State Tournament, was a welcome return to sports. The Purple Knights (Varsity), playing under the team name Ernest M. Henry Post 438, faced a familiar District 9-5A foe in the Holy Cross Tigers, playing under the team name Ponstein’s. Both teams and fans alike, couldn’t have been happier to hear the sweetest words in baseball, “Let’s Play Ball.” The LHSAA Spring baseball season was cut short on March 12, due to the Covid-19 pandemic. However, because of the distance between players on the diamond, it was safe to take the field. In front of a crowd of 150 people, on Saturday, June 20, everyone was happy to have sports starting again.

The American Legion Baseball tournament is set to go through July 8, (schedule below) with the State Playoffs beginning July 9, location and teams TBD. Coach Rey, still in season 1 at the helm, and his team have played 10 games during the Spring, are in the gelling phase. The future looks bright for the Purple Knights after a successful season and playoff run, a year ago.

The batting order for the matchup went as:
#11 Jardy Montgomery (Center Field)
#4 Jeffrey Duroncelay (Pitcher)
#3 Herb Watts (DH) for #6 Alfred Ripoll (Right Field)
#18 Kabrel Johnson (Catcher)
#14 Jalen Pierce (Left Field)
#1 Leon Franklin (1st Base)
#22 Landon Williams, Jr. (3rd Base)
#2 Shannon Martin (ShortStop)
#13 Ryan Strippling (2nd Base)
Head Coach: Barrett Rey          Asst. Coaches: Errol Manuel, Al Sartain & Brent Washington

Now on to the bats!
The 1st inning for the Purple Knights was a slow start, as #3 Herb Watts got on 1st, after being walked on balls, but was swiftly on 2nd base with a steal, before the top of the inning ended.
#4 Jeff Duroncelay took to the mound, giving up 2 hits leading to a runner scoring for the Tigers, to end the 1st, with Holy Cross 1 – St. Aug. 0
SA (0) Runs (0) Hits (0) Errors
HC (1) Runs (2) Hits (0) Errors

To start the 2nd inning, #14 Jalen Pierce, was walked on balls, than advancing to 2nd base on a pop up out, by #1 Leon Franklin. #2 Shannon Martin was walked on balls. #13 Ryan Strippling came up to bat, who hit a single up the middle, advancing Pierce to 3rd base, but an errand throw by the Tigers, would send Pierce home for the score, tying the game at 1, ending the top of the 2nd inning, Holy Cross 1 – St. Aug. 1
SA (1) Runs (1) Hits (0) Errors
HC (1) Runs (2) Hits (1) Errors

In the bottom of the 2nd inning, Duroncelay gave up 2 hits, leading to 1 Run for the Tigers, making the score, Holy Cross 2 – St. Aug. 1
SA (1) Runs (1) Hits (0) Errors
HC (2) Runs (4) Hits (1) Errors

At the top of the 3rd Inning, Montgomery was walked on balls, followed by Duroncelay with a single and Watts laid down a sacrifice bunt, advancing Montgomery and Duroncelay to 2nd & 3rd respectively. #18 Kabrell Johnson, connected with a fly out to Center Field, bringing home Montgomery for the score, to end the inning Holy Cross 2 – St. Aug. 2
SA (2) Runs (2) Hits (0) Errors
HC (2) Runs (4) Hits (1) Errors

At the bottom of the 3rd, #15 Nijal Johnson, dug his cleats in, on the mound, replacing Duroncelay, as the Tigers brought them up to the plate, the Purple Knights defense and Johnson pitching, sat them down, as the score remained, Holy Cross 2 – St. Aug. 2
SA (2) Runs (2) Hits (0) Errors
HC (2) Runs (4) Hits (1) Errors

In the 4th innings, things remained status quo as neither team could get any separation, to end the 4th, Holy Cross 2 – St. Aug. 2
SA (2) Runs (2) Hits (0) Errors
HC (2) Runs (4) Hits (1) Errors

In the top of the 5th inning, #11 Jardy Montgomery, sent a shot down the 3rd base line for a double, which would be the most the Purple Knights could muster up and in the bottom of the 5th the Tigers couldn’t take advantage of a new pitcher on the mound, in #2 Shannon Martin, the score remained tied Holy Cross 2 – St. Aug. 2
SA (2) Runs (3) Hits (0) Errors
HC (2) Runs (4) Hits (1) Errors

The 6th inning would be the recipe the Purple Knights needed as Watts sent the ball to left field for a single, after a bad pitch from the mound to the catcher, led to Watts advancing to 2nd base. The miscues, began to mount, benefiting the Purple Knights, as the pitcher was called for a balk, putting Watts on 3rd base. Pierce made his way to 1st base after being walked on balls, as Franklin, doubled to right field, with an error made by the Tigers also, as Watts crossed home plate. #22 Landon William’s was put on base from balls, followed by #15 Nijal Johnson fly out to the 2nd Baseman and on the throw to the 1st baseman, trying to catch Williams before he could return to 1st, was an errand throw, as all runners advanced, bringing home Pierce. The Purple Knights would take a 4 – 2 lead over the Tigers.
SA (4) Runs (5) Hits (0) Errors
HC (2) Runs (4) Hits (3) Errors

As the game moved into the bottom of the 6th inning, with Martin still on the mound for the Purple Knights, the Tigers managed to load the bases with only one out. A shot was fired off the bat down the 3rd baseline, in the direction of Landon Williams who made the stellar grab, threw to home plate preventing a Tigers score, as Kabrell Johnson threw it to 1st Base and Leon Franklin tagged the bag, for the exciting double play. Only 1 hit was given up in the inning, as the score stayed St. Aug. 4 – Holy Cross 2
SA (4) Runs (5) Hits (0) Errors
HC (2) Runs (5) Hits (3) Errors

As we started the top of the 7th inning, #6 Alfred Rippoll, got on 1st base due to ball count, Montgomery hit a single to Right Field advancing Rippoll. After #9 Chris Crawford pop up, Watts sent a shot down the 3rd base line bringing home Rippoll, with another error by the Tigers, as the lead went to St. Aug. 5 – Holy Cross 2
SA (5) Runs (7) Hits (0) Errors
HC (2) Runs (5) Hits (3) Errors

Going into the bottom of the 7th inning, to close out the game, Coach Rey made a pitching change, as you can imagine, since the players hadn’t played organized ball in months, he wanted to keep his pitchers fresh, on the mound comes #1 Leon Franklin. Unfortunately for the Purple Knights, a few significant number of hits by the Tigers offense was the spark needed to get back in the game, with an error, made by the defense, the Tigers would take charge of the game for the Holy Cross 6 – St. Aug. 5 victory.
SA (5) Runs (7) Hits (1) Errors
HC (6) Runs (12) Hits (3) Errors
Pitchers – IP
Duroncelay – 2
Johnson – 2
Martin – 2
Franklin – 1

Monday June 22, 2020 – (Games cancelled due to Rainy Weather)
3:30 PM St. Aug. (JV) – Warren McDaniels Post 500 vs Brother Martin – Delta World Tire
@ Kirsch Rooney
6:30 PM St. Aug. (Varsity)- Ernest M. Henry Post 438 vs Brother Martin – College Funding Coach
@ Kirsch Rooney

Wednesday June 24, 2020 (Game cancelled due to Rainy Weather)
12:30 PM St. Aug. (Varsity)- Ernest M. Henry Post 438/St. Aug. (JV)- Warren McDaniel Post 500 vs TBD @ Mike Miley Baseball Field

Thursday June 25, 2020 (Game cancelled due to Rainy Weather)
6:00 PM St. Aug. (Varsity)- Ernest M. Henry Post 438 vs Lutcher – Noranda Bulldogs @ Lutcher

Friday, June 26, 2020 (All Game Times, Subject To Change, Due To Weather)
3:30 PM St. Aug. (JV) – Warren McDaniel Post 500 vs Archbishop Shaw – Ryan Foret Baseball @ Kirsch Rooney

Saturday, June 27, 2020 (All Game Times, Subject To Change, Due To Weather)
1:00 PM Independent – Gulf Coast Office (A) vs St. Aug. (Varsity) – Ernest M. Henry Post 438
@ Kirsch Rooney