Red River Adult Baseball League, 18+ Division
Submitted by David Pratt, Red River League President
SHREVEPORT, La. – The Elysian Fields Rangers toppled the Twin City Giants, 10-1, on Aug. 28 at Captain Shreve High School to take the 2022 Red River Adult Baseball League 18+ Division Championship. It was the tenth overall division title for the Rangers franchise, who also won it all in 2007, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2015-2018, and 2021.
“There have been seasons where we have played great all year and there are seasons like this year, where we have played inconsistently well,” said Rangers coach Brandon Goswick. “But we played our best game of the year when it mattered most. Having the opportunity to be around great men who are dependable teammates that love the game of baseball is a blessing.”
Due to their inconsistency, the Rangers entered the postseason as the second seed and were forced to defeat the Shreveport Firedogs (6-2) in the semifinal to earn the right to play the regular season champion Giants in the finale. This marked the sixth consecutive season that the Giants and Rangers met in the championship with the trophy up for grabs. With the win, Elysian Fields improved to 5-1 in those battles since 2016.
Veteran lefty Sean Struwe took to the mound for the Rangers and did not disappoint, hurling a complete game, and earning a final line of nine innings, seven hits, one run, and one walk with eight strikeouts. Goswick went 3-for-3 with three runs from the leadoff spot while David Pratt and Taylor Wyatt both notched multiple hit games, batting right behind him. The trio combined for seven hits, six runs and three RBI while getting on base a total of 10 times in 14 plate appearances. Elysian Fields pounded out 12 hits, including triples by both Wyatt and Austin Duren.
“I felt like as the game went on, I continued to feel a little stronger,” Struwe stated. “I thought Taylor called a great game and we had quite a few one-pitch outs, which is a testament to our defense. The run support then kicked in. It was a very good game all around for us.”
Duren was named MVP of the season after the game. The outfielder finished with a .450 batting average to go along with three homers, seven doubles, two triples, and 15 RBI, all tops in the league. He also led the league in extra-base hits (12), slugging (.950) and OPS (1.460).
“I’m just blessed to be able to play this great game with this awesome team…and my kids think I am cool now,” joked Duren. Goswick added, “In my close to 15 years of playing in the RRABL, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a player have as great of a power-hitting season as Austin. That was fun to watch.”
The contest was close as both teams plated single runs in the second inning. The score remained knotted at 1-1 until the Rangers scored four in the fifth inning highlighted by Duren’s triple and an RBI single by Lance Webb. Elysian Fields effectively put the game away with three more runs in the sixth to go up 7-1.