SHREVEPORT, La. – The Minden Redbirds defeated the Shreveport Storm, 14-3, on Aug. 7 at Calvary Baptist Academy’s Baseball Field to win the 2022 Red River Adult Baseball League 30+ Division Championship. It was the third straight RRABL title for the Redbirds, who won the 2019 and 2021 crowns. The league did not play in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“When you have players that possess talent, toughness, drive and perseverance, they’re not difficult to manage,” said Minden player-manager Charlie Cavell. “I’ve just got to put them in the right spots and let them perform. These guys possess all those traits and so much more, but most importantly they’re good men.”
Minden starter Ian Doiron, who played collegiately at LSU Shreveport, allowed just three runs on 11 hits and struck out 10 to earn the complete-game victory. Doiron, who was the 2021 Most Valuable Player, missed a majority of the regular season due to a knee injury.
“I didn’t know if I was going to make it back this season,” said Doiron, “I wanted to do my best for my teammates, my wife and kids and for my parents, who drove up all the way up from Houma (La.). The Storm has some good hitters who really battle each at bat, and you can’t give them free bases because they run well. I was able to minimize the free passes and our defense was outstanding behind me.”
In the championship game, Minden scored three runs in three of the first four innings to take a commanding 9-2 lead. The Redbirds added single runs in the fifth and seventh innings before tacking on three more runs in the eighth to put the game out of reach. Minden had nine players with multiple hits in the game, including first baseman Aaron Lowe, who went 4-for-5 with a double and two RBIs.
Minden, which was the No. 3-seed heading into the playoffs, defeated the No. 2-seed Bossier City Rats 15-1 in six innings on Aug. 6, behind Corey Burr’s strong pitching performance and some outstanding defense. Burr earned the win by scattering five hits over six innings, allowing just one unearned run while walking two and fanning two. Minden turned four double plays in the game.
After the championship game, Burr was selected as the Most Valuable Player by a team vote for his spartan efforts throughout the season.
“It’s an honor to be named the MVP,” said Burr, who is a Bossier City, La. police officer. “Especially, coming from teammates. I’m not a vocal guy. I just show up, compete and try to give us a chance to win.”
In the two playoff games combined, Minden scored 29 runs and pounded out 42 hits. Shortstop George Stricker, who was injured in the semi-finals, and Lowe paced the Redbirds offensive onslaught as the pair combined to go 11-for-15 in the two games.
“We’ve played our best baseball when it matters the most,” said Cavell. “This season was tougher because we had to overcome a lot of adversity. We had a lot of guys miss games due to injury and had to fight just to make the playoffs. But big-time players perform their best on the biggest stage, and that’s what these guys have done now for three straight seasons.”
Cavell thanked the team sponsors Casey Surmick at Claiborne Pharmacy & Gifts and Brandon Underwood of KB Electric for their support of the team.
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