Pilots enjoy busy day in Lewiston
May 24, 2012
LEWISTON, Idaho - The no. 1 ranked LSU Shreveport Pilots began their day with a visit to Cornerstone Christian Academy; there they signed autographs and answered questions of the somewhat shy students who only asked one question, "Who is the Catcher?"
After seeing that the question and answer session was going nowhere The Pilots had a gift for the students. Ridge Gonsoulin explained the meaning of Mardi Gras and then the entire team stood on the stage and tossed a fair share of Mardi Gras beads into the crowd of students.
Next, everyone had a treat as they all took to the playground know as Sunrise Community Park for some fun games. The first game split the kids and the Pilots up into four different teams and each player was assigned a number; when their number was called they had to race to the center of the square in for some balls that were waiting in the middle. The objective of the game was to get the balls in the middle to your side of the square but it was not an easy task as it looked like in baseball terms, a bench clearing brawls but without the punches.
Before the Pilots had to leave for batting practice, they found time for a few quick games of dodge ball. Disappointingly the Pilots time at the school had come to an end needing to get to Harris Field for their time slot for batting practice. The kids were excited to have the Pilots come to their school and both, the kids and the Pilots, had a great time.
A year ago when the Pilots played at Harris Field it only yielded three long balls in four games but today it gave the impression that it was willing to surrender the deep flies with today's batting practice performance by the NAIA's top ball club. The ball traveled well to right center and some in the later round to left center as well.
The afternoon welcomed hundreds of youngsters willing to hone their skills as they learned from the NAIA's best at a clinic at Harris Field. The Pilots brought the pitching staff to the clinic teaching the technics that they have found to be the most helpful on the mound.
The evening banquet used the theme "Rally the Valley" as they focused on the top 10 come from behind wins in Lewiston since the series returned to Harris Field back in 2000. Coming in at number 4 on the list was the LSU Shreveport Pilots come from behind win over the Lee Flames one year ago as the Pilots trailed 4-1 going into the bottom of the ninth and rallied for four runs to defeat the Flames 5-4 in their first game of the tournament.
However, this year those two teams will not meet as early as they did last year as they return to the Valley as the no. 1 and no. 2 seeds. The no. 1 Pilots await the Rogers State/USC - Beaufort winner while the flames await College of Idaho and Point Park winner. The Pilots will wait one more day before they take the field for the first time at the Avista-NAIA World Series in 2012. Their first game is scheduled for Saturday night at 6:30 p.m. PDT.