American Legion: Pedal Valves, Retif Oil set to open play in Mid-South Regional
There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home.
This very famous phrase is fitting for both the Louisiana state champion, Pedal Valves, and the regional host team Jesuit-based Retif Oil as both American Legion teams are set to open up the Mid-South Regional on Wednesday at Kirsch-Rooney Stadium. Jesuit’s John Ryan Stadium, which features an all turf playing surface is slated as the secondary site in case of rain.
While no wizard will appear, both local teams are hoping that the home field advantage will prove magical.
Pedal Valves, who also captured the 2016 Louisiana state title, had to travel to Little Rock, Arkansas, for last year’s Mid-South Regional. Pedal Valves head coach Danny Riehm is excited to be at home in New Orleans for this year’s tournament.
“It is nice not having to travel, stay in a hotel, and deal with the natural distractions of being on the road,” Riehm said. “Playing the regional in New Orleans, on fields that we are very familiar with, is something that we have certainly looked forward to.”
Riehm is convinced that the two local teams will provide a good showing.
“We are honored to represent Louisiana and the great baseball that we have here,” Riehm said. “Our players and coaches are excited about the opportunity to take on some of the nation’s elite American Legion programs and we hope to be on the road to Shelby (North Carolina, regular site of the Legion World Series). I like the way we are playing entering the tournament and last year’s experience will certainly help. Retif Oil is a solid team as well.”
Pitcher Cyle Clayton of Holy Cross has been superb for Pedal Valves. A Nicholls signee, Clayton has won two games in the state tournament and is 3-0 with a 0.00 ERA with 40 strikeouts in just 21 and a third innings on the season. First baseman Lyall Ball of Rummel has been the top hitter on the season for Pedal Valves. Ball, a Delgado signee, is batting .417 with 19 RBI.
Riehm is hoping that his first opponent does not embrace the legacy of the phrase “there’s no place like home,” considering the first opponent for Pedal Valves is from Kansas.
Pedal Valves (26-6) will play the Kansas state champion, Ottowa, at 4:30 p.m. in game three of opening day of the tournament on Wednesday.
Retif Oil (18-9) will take on the Oklahoma state champion, Ada, immediately following the Pedal Valves game in the final game of the first day.
The Jesuit-based team is led by Joel Guerra, who is batting .400 with 12 RBI while Christian Hess is the top pitcher with a 1.00 ERA and four saves, along with a complete game shutout, despite just a 2-4 record. It is the fourth Mid South regional for Joey Latino as head coach of the Oilers.
“The goal for us going into the season was to take the approach of the summer being spring training, since we were guaranteed a spot in the regional as the host,” Latino said. “We have come together nicely, improving as young players have grown up quickly. All of the teams, other than us, are state champions. You know they are all good. We are all trying to get to Shelby and the World Series.”
The winner of the eight team tournament, which in addition to the host team features seven state champions from Louisiana, Kansas, Arkansas, Tennessee, Missouri, Mississippi and Oklahoma, will advance to the American Legion World Series in Shelby, North Carolina on August 10-15.
The American Legion World Series games are broadcast nationwide by ESPN.
MID-SOUTH REGIONAL SCHEDULE
At Kirsch-Rooney Stadium
Click here for bracket
Wednesday, Aug. 2
Game 1: Tennessee champion, Columbia Post 19, 26-13-1, vs. Arkansas champion, Bryant Post 298 Black Sox, 33-6, 9:30 a.m.
Game 2: Mississippi champion, North Mississippi Indians, 18-6, vs. Missouri champion, Jefferson City Post 5, 29-8, 30 minutes following conclusion of Game 1
Game 3: Kansas champion, Ottawa Arrows, 37-9, vs. Louisiana champion, Pedal Valves Cardinals (independent), 26-6, 4:30 p.m.
Game 4: Oklahoma champion, Ada Braves, 34-9, vs. Host team, Retif Oil (Jesuit), 18-9, 30 minutes following the conclusion of Game 3
Thursday, Aug. 3
Game 5: Game 1 loser, Columbia, Tenn., Post 19 or Bryant, Ark., Post 298 Black Sox, vs. Game 3 loser, Ottawa, Kan., Arrows or Pedal Valves Cardinals, 9:30 a.m.
Game 6: Game 2 loser, North Mississippi Indians or Jefferson City, Mo., Post 5, vs. Game 4 loser, Ada, Okla., Braves or Retif Oil (Jesuit), 30 minutes following conclusion of Game 5.
Game 7: Game 1 winner, Columbia, Tenn., Post 19 or Bryant, Ark., Post 298 Black Sox, vs. Game 3 winner, Ottawa, Kan., Arrows or Pedal Valves Cardinals (Independent), 4:30 p.m.
Game 8: Game 2 winner, North Mississippi Indians or Jefferson City, Mo., Post 5, vs. Ada, Okla., Braves or Retif Oil (Jesuit), 30 minutes following the conclusion of Game 7.
Friday, Aug. 4
Game 9: Game 6 winner vs. Game 7 loser, 12:30 p.m.
Game 10: Game 5 winner vs. Game 8 loser, 4:30 p.m.
Game 11: Game 7 winner vs. Game 8 winner, 30 minutes following the conclusion of Game 10.
Saturday, Aug. 5
Game 12: *Game 9 winner vs. Game 11 loser, 12:30 p.m.
Game 13: *Game 10 winner vs. Game 11 winner, 4:30 p.m.
*Pairings for Games 12, 13 will not match previous opponents against each other unless absolutely necessary.
Sunday, Aug. 6
Game 14: *Game 12 winner vs. Game 13 winner, 2 p.m.
Game 15: *If necessary, 7 p.m. (Fifteen games will be needed if Game 11 winner loses Game 13 or Game 12 winner wins Game 14.)
*If three teams remain after Game 13, Game 11 winner automatically draws the bye for Game 14 and advances to Game 15 championship game.)
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