The Louisiana Knights 11U-Mandeville beat the Traction Canes-Black 10-7 to win the Cajun Classic XXXIX Super NIT 11-Major division and earn a berth in this summer’s Elite World Series in Florida. The Knights had to win four consecutive elimination games in bracket competition of this 21-team field to hoist another tournament trophy.
In game one of elimination play in Lafayette, Louisiana this past Sunday, the Knights beat Vikings Baseball 10-2 behind Ethan Walker’s 2-for-2 and 3 RBIs (including an in-the-park-home run) and JoJo Parker’s 2-for-3 with 2 runs and an RBI. On the mound, Michael Staley pitched 2.1 innings allowing 2 runs and Davis Emonet tossed 1.2 scoreless relief innings.
The next game, with a semi-final berth on the line, matched the Knights up against the Mississippi Phenoms-Black. This was an extremely competitive contest as the Knights advanced on a walk-off hit by Jacob Parker who knocked in brother JoJo (he led off the inning by beating out a grounder to first) to win 7-6. Michael Staley had a huge 2-run double in the game while Thomas Bonaventure was 2-for-2 with a run scored and 2 RBIs. On the hill, Kolby Hunter threw 2.1 innings and recorded 3 strikeouts. Josh Lim entered the game in relief and earned the win.
Some standout performers on the Knights included Staley, Bonaventure and JoJo Parker. Staley hit .400 over the 6 games with 3 doubles and 8 RBIs with his hits coming in pressure-packed moments. Bonaventure, the team’s catcher, was 7-for-12 overall and showed some serious pop. He hit 2 homers, a double, scored 4 runs and knocked in 9. Parker was 11-19 over the weekend with 2 doubles, a triple, 10 runs scored and 5 RBIs.
The Knights-Mandeville have a well-balanced offense that they’ll showcase at the Elite World Series later this year in Disney World’s Wide World of Sports.
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The Louisiana Sox won the 13U-Major division of the Cajun Classic Super NIT after winning four consecutive games on Sunday capping their impressive run with a 3-0 victory against the Louisiana Knights 13U-Baton Rouge. This division and classification consisted of 18 teams from three states: Louisiana, Texas and Mississippi.
The Sox won its prior three elimination games against the LA Thunder 7-2, S.L. Select-Landry 12-0 and the Louisiana Tigers 7-5. Their pitching staff was led by Jacob Weldon who threw 5.1 innings over the weekend followed by Bryce Leonard (5 IP), Jeffrey Matthews (3.1 IP).
The team based in Denham Springs, Louisiana have now won two consecutive USSSA tournaments, four of their last five. With a 22-2-1 In Class record, Teddy Mooney’s squad will make plenty of noise the rest of the spring season and at the Elite World Series this summer.