Dicky Purcell has seen a lot of baseball during his nearly 50 years as a Louisa Little League coach, but no team has he been more proud of than this year’s U11 all-stars.
The Louisa squad posted a 4-1 record at the Virginia state tournament and reached the semifinals against some elite-level competition.
“This was a very special team,” Purcell said. “Most of the kids on this team, most of the coaches had never coached before. But the team really bonded together and bought into our philosophy, which was really great.”
Purcell’s team earned a berth in the state tournament with a dominating performance in the District 14 tournament. The Louisa all-stars breezed through the tournament en route to claiming the title.
The postseason success continued in Roanoke as Louisa won their division with a 3-0 record in pool play.
Jacob Barber and Paul Passero tallied three hits apiece to lead Louisa to a 7-3 victory over Poquoson on July 17 in the tournament opener held at Starkey Park. Perry Hopkins and Barber combined to pitch four shutout innings of work on the hill.
The bats continued to produce during a 10-3 win over Spotsylvania on July 18.
Bryan Toney and Evan Straley contributed three hits apiece in the win. Barber collected two more.
Louisa wrapped up pool play on July 19 with a 9-3 victory over Grottoes.
Owen Greslick and Lucious Cash posted three hits apiece to lead the offensive charge.
Purcell said that Passero was the defensive catalyst at third base. Toney suffered a broken wrist during this game, but continued to support the team in any way he could.
The highlight of the tournament came Monday, July 20 against Chesterfield. Louisa scored seven unanswered runs in the top of the sixth inning to erase a 3-1 deficit against the District 5 champions.
Josh Cutright blasted a solo homer to spark the rally for Louisa. Cash scored three batters later on a groundout from Eddie Massey to tie the game at 3-3.
To read the entire story, see the July 23 edition of The Central Virginian.