Red River Adult Baseball League, 30+ Division
D’Arbonne Lake Monsters 14, Minden Redbirds 13
Submitted by David Pratt, Red River League President
SHREVEPORT, La. – The D’Arbonne Lake Monsters jumped out to a commanding lead early and then held on late to win 14-13 over the Minden Redbirds in the 2023 Red River Adult Baseball League 30+ Division Championship. The title is the first for the Lake Monsters franchise since joining the RRABL as the Red Sox in 2013.
The third-seeded Lake Monsters defeated the second-seeded Shreveport Storm by one run to advance to the final and seemed on a mission to not play another close game in the championship. The D’Arbonne hitters came out hot against the top-seeded Redbirds, lacing eight first-inning hits (7 singles and a triple) to post a 9-0 score after one-half inning of play.
Minden, looking for its fourth consecutive RRABL Series crown and being the regular season champs, was not going to roll over with plenty of time left to chip away. They scored two in the bottom of the first and then added six more in the second inning. With two outs and nobody on base, the Redbirds followed a hit batter with four hits, including doubles by Austin Shepherd and George Stricker, to pull within three at 11-8.
Relief pitchers Luke Squyres for the Lake Monsters and Daniel Stoll of the Redbirds were both forced into action early, but the duo calmed the scoring surge and runs were at a premium the rest of the way. Minden crept within two at 11-9, but D’Arbonne pushed two runs across in the fourth inning on hits by Stuart Miller, Squyres, and Brian Warren. Warren would finish with a 3-for-4 night at the dish. The Lake Monsters would not score the rest of the way.
Trailing 14-9, the Redbirds posted a single run in the fifth and seventh innings and sought to overcome a three-run deficit in their final at-bat. Three straight hits by Aaron Lowe, Thomas McManis, and Anthony Young got things rolling and after an RBI ground out, a fly out, and a walk, Minden was down one run with two outs, the tying run on second, and the winning run on first base.
Squyres was running on empty having thrown seven innings of relief and facing Shepherd who had good at-bats all game. With the game in the balance, Squyres came up big as he snared a come-back line drive to end the rally. It was a thrilling end to a very hard-fought contest.
In addition to his three hits, Warren led the way, along with James Bennett, with three RBI for the Lake Monsters. Two of those for Bennett came on a second-inning home run. Ten of the D’Arbonne 11 batters registered a hit with Cedric Magee and Miller notching two hits apiece. Miller also scored three runs.
Zach Christ went 4-for-4 with three RBI out of the lead-off spot to pace the Redbirds on offense. Lowe and Brent Rawls each had two hits and Chris Fort added three RBI for Minden.
After the game, the Lake Monsters selected Co-MVPs as Miller was honored for his performance over the entire season and Squyres was awarded the accolade for his pitching effort in the title game.