Enterprise’s 15U All-Stars fell in the semifinal round of the 2019 Dixie Youth 15U World Series in Sterlington, Louisiana, over the weekend.
The team fell to JRPD East, Louisiana, the eventual champions, by a score of 4-2 in the semifinals.
Enterprise finished 3-1 in the tournament, defeating Franklin, Louisiana, 5-2 and Gonzales, Louisiana, 16-2 in the first two games before beating Bartow, Florida, 9-3 to secure a semifinal spot.
Coach Eddie Morris said Enterprise lost the semifinal to a team that simply played better on Saturday.
“It was one of those games where the team that lost, lost,” Morris said. “I told my team after we lost the game that there was some stuff we could have done differently, but I didn’t leave the game thinking we made the wrong play here or made the wrong substitution there or made an error on the field. You never want to leave the game thinking, ‘If only we could have made that play.’ We played well. It was just one of those things that (JRPD East) played better that game. I’m proud of this team.”
Overall, Morris said Enterprise put together solid play on the field.
“The first game, we were pretty solid,” Morris said. “We ended up winning 5-2, but it should have been more honestly. I would say in at least four out of the six innings, we left multiple runners on base. In the second game, we jumped out early and were just hitting really well.”
Andrew Cashin pitched the full game against Bartow, Florida. He gave up three runs, one earned, and struck out 14 of their 18 batters.
Morris said a few coaches from JRPD East were watching that game and remarked that Enterprise had burned their ace in the hole.
“Cashin was our ace,” Morris said. “But Bowen Beckham is probably our most consistent pitcher, and he probably pitched the best for us all summer. In the first game, he pitched four innings and gave up one run. He pitched the full game in the semifinal and only gave up four runs, so he did a good job.”
After the World Series, the Dixie Youth 15U World Series tournament director and umpires chose Enterprise as the winner of this year’s 2019 Sportsmanship Award.
“Anyone who has played sports -- we know it’s hard to control emotions if something happens or the umpire makes a bad call,” Morris said. “I’ve always tried to tell these kids that when you play, you’ve got that Enterprise logo on your chest. You represent the city and not just yourself.
“For us as coaches, it’s the same thing. These players are 15-16 year olds. They follow our lead. If we’re out there yelling and cussing on the field, how can we tell them not to do it? How can they follow our example? I always tell them, ‘You’ll never win an argument with an umpire but, if you argue, know how to argue and what to argue about.’”