The Bossier All-Stars won the Dixie Boys (14s) World Series with a 7-6 victory over Florida state champ Spring Hill on Wednesday in Pineville.
Members of the championship team are Peyton Lewis, Cody Dean, Hayden Lope, Will Tynes, Kade Garmany, Bryson Connell, Jaxson Clark, Christopher Lutterman, Trace Vorachek and Gavin Roe.
Jerry Lutterman is the head coach. Joe Tynes and Aaron Vorachek are the assistant coaches.
Bossier played most of the tournament with just nine players.
“Throughout the whole World Series, every kid contributed in some way to help us win a game,” Lutterman said. “We had some adversity, had some things happen. We kind of took the hard road.”
Lutterman said Bossier Parks and Recreation director Clay Bohanan, a former Airline head coach, called the team the “Iron Men of Bossier.”
The tournament featured 12 teams from 11 southern states and host Pineville.
The title was the fourth for the Bossier organization in the Dixie Boys division but the first since 1993, according to the national Dixie Baseball website. Bossier also won titles in 1965 and 1985. Bossier won the Dixie Jr. Boys title in 2014 at Tinsley Park.
After suffering their first loss of the tournament 10-0 to Georgia state champ Columbia County on Tuesday night, Bossier had to win twice Wednesday to take the title.
They did so in dramatic fashion. First, Bossier avenged the loss to Georgia, defeating Columbia County 5-4 behind Tynes’ 13 strikeouts.
Then Bossier fell behind Florida 5-0 after 2 1/2 innings in the afternoon. Taking advantage of a Lope double, a single, a sacrifice fly and two Florida errors, Bossier scored three in bottom of the third to cut the lead to 5-3.
The score stood that away after 3 1/2 when a thunderstorm rolled over the Ward 9 Sports Complex, delaying the game almost four hours.
When play resumed, Bossier loaded the bases for Roe in the bottom of the fourth. Clark was hit by a pitch on a 0-2 count. Then Lewis singled up the middle and Lope got a base hit to right field. Roe then sent the ball over the fence, giving Bossier a 7-5 lead.
Florida loaded the bases in the top of fifth with no outs on a double, hit batter and single. Connell, who relieved Lewis after three innings, got a popup and a strikeout for the first two outs. Florida then hit a grounder to the shortstop Lewis, who made a great throw to get the force at first and end the threat.
Bossier had a chance to extend the lead in the sixth after singles by Garmany and Tynes. Florida turned a double play to end the inning.
Florida scored an unearned run in the top of the sixth to cut the lead to 7-6.
Florida got a single with one out in the seventh. After Florida grounded out to the shortstop, Connell got the final out of the game, picking up a soft roller in front of the mound and throwing it to first.
“Connell came in and shut them down,” Lutterman said. “He came up huge for us.”
Lope had a double in Bossier’s three-run third inning. Lutterman had an RBI single, and Tynes had a sacrifice fly.
In the victory over Georgia, Lewis had a two-run double. Tynes also had a double. Lutterman had two singles. Roe and Clark also singled.
Jerry Lutterman said pitching was the difference for Bossier throughout the tournament.
“Tynes got some big punchouts,” he said.
Two years ago, Lutterman helped coach a Bossier team that finished runner-up in the Dixie Boys World Series at Tinsley Park. Bossier was undefeated going into the final day but was swept by Hattiesburg, Miss. There was a rain-delay that day, too.
“I may have been the most excited one out there,” Lutterman said Wednesday. “I don’t think people realize how hard it is to get there and finish it. It’s ironic. We had a three-hour rain delay two years ago, but this time we won.”
— Russell Hedges, email@example.com