Bogalusa Heat successful in 1st season

Published 1:11 pm Friday, July 27, 2018

The Bogalusa Heat played in its first season this year and completed a successful year by competing in its league’s World Series and being ranked No. 1.
The single-A 9U travel ball team had tryouts in December and began practicing at the end of February.
The team lost and added players.
This year, the team reached the championship game of the World Series and finished second. That group has mostly been playing together since late May.
This season, the Heat played 25-30 games and competed in six or seven tournaments. Their games were in Chalmette, Covington, Pedal, Miss., D’Iberville, Miss. and Gulfport, Miss.
Games were either 90 minutes or six innings. There were two thresholds for the mercy rule with a 15-run lead after three innings or 10 after four.
The Heat lost their season opener, 15-0, which was in May, and things improved after that.
The team is ranked No. 1 in the state and country in the Great Southern Sports Association.
“I’m super proud,” Heat coach Rudy O’Bryant said. “We played through a lot of heat. We played eight games at the World Series and we lost two games to two triple-A teams. We lost the championship game, 13-9, to a double-A team that is ranked number 2 in the country in double-A.
“We beat that team the day before, 13-2. I’m definitely super proud of this group. They’re very committed. They want to play baseball. They get along. It’s hard to explain how bad 9-year olds want something and how committed they are, but this group is very committed.”
The team went 5-3 in the World Series. Two of the losses were to triple-A teams and that does not count toward their record.
Deryon Jackson was the Most Valuable Player of the championship game after going 3-for-3. Jackson missed hitting for the cycle in the title game by only a homer.
O’Bryant said that Bryce Marks pitched two great games and got two wins at the World Series.
Jordan Jerrell went 2-0. He threw a no-hitter and was one out from another.
Rylan Distefano converted three saves in as many opportunities in the World Series.
Catcher Jabari Robinson threw out two would-be base stealers at second and two more at third. He also hit four doubles during the World Series.
O’Bryant said that everybody hit in the World Series and said they averaged between 12 and 13 runs per game.
In order to qualify for the World Series, they had to play in the state tournament. To reach the state tournament, the team had to play in three tournaments.
The season is complete and team will be start playing fall ball in September.
O’Bryant said he is very thankful to the assistant coaches and the parents for their support.