SHREVEPORT — The Minden Redbirds captured the 2021 Red River Adult Baseball League 30+ Division crown with a 9-5 win over the D’Arbonne Lake Monsters Sunday at Captain Shreve High School’s Baseball Field.
It’s the second straight RRABL crown for the Redbirds, who won the 2019 title. The league did not play in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“After struggling during the regular season, we put it all together in the playoffs much like we did in 2019,” said Minden player-manager Charlie Cavell. “Our pitching and defense was incredible. When you can throw it and catch it well more often than not you’re going to give yourself a chance to win. We had a big inning offensively in the semifinals and got some timely hits in the finals and were able to win it all again.”
Sunday’s championship was a resumption of a game which started on Aug. 15 at LSU Shreveport’s Pilot Field. The Redbirds were leading 5-3 at the end of six innings before torrential rains forced the suspension by RRABL president David Pratt.
Ian Doiron, who was named the 2021 Most Valuable Player by a team vote, closed out the final three innings on Sunday to register the save. Doiron struck out six of the 11 batters he faced in the three innings.
“I didn’t think I’d get a chance to pitch in the championship,” said Doiron, who played collegiately at LSU Shreveport. “When the game got suspended, it gave me the chance to come back and pitch. I was able to come in and close it out, but I wouldn’t have been in that position had it not been for Corey (Burr) and Chris (Fort) getting us there.”
Burr earned the win for Minden after allowing three runs on four hits, walking three and striking out three over five innings. Fort pitched a scoreless sixth inning before the rains halted the game.
Minden, who was the No. 4-seed heading into the playoffs, defeated the No. 1-seed Bossier City Rats 15-4 on Aug. 13, behind Doiron’s strong pitching performance. Doiron struck out 10 in going the distance to earn the win.
“I’m grateful to be named the MVP,” said Doiron. “I’m just happy to be the champs again. Now we can go for the three-peat.”
The Redbirds were clinging to a 5-3 lead in the top of the seventh inning before erupting for 10 runs on eight hits to blow the game open.
“We had most everyone back from 2019 and we added a couple of key new players,” said Cavell.
“I said it in 2019 and I’ll say it again, that when all of our guys show up we’re an outstanding baseball team, and I think we proved that again.”
Cavell thanked the team sponsors Casey Surmick at Claiborne Pharmacy & Gifts and Gary Jones at Advanced Ambulance Service of Minden for their support of the team.