While most of Leesville enjoyed spring break far away from the Triangle, the Leesville baseball team spent theirs embracing a special stage: the USA Baseball High School Invitational tournament in Cary.
The opportunity to appear in the tournament was considered a great honor for the program. While the team struggled against some of the best high school teams in the nation, going 0-4 and being out-scored 18-2, Ryan Sande, senior second baseman, noted that the experience rather than the results will be what the Pride remember.
“It meant a lot to be a part of the tournament,” said Sande. “We didn’t do as well as we should’ve, but we definitely played our best game against …the best teams in the nation.”
Andrew Papp, senior pitcher and N.C. State commit, provided one of the team’s bright spots with his six-inning effort against Puyallup (Tacoma, Washington). Papp struck out six and allowed just three runs in the 3-0 loss.
Tommy Perrin, junior, went 2-for-9 during the team’s four games, drawing three walks and batting in one run. Dillon Cooper, senior, and Derrick Barnes, junior, scored the team’s two runs of the tournament in a 4-2 loss to St. Thomas Aquinas (Ft. Lauderdale, Florida).
The team also faced Horizon H.S. from Scottsdale, Arizona, and Loyalsock from Williamsport, Pennsylvania.
“I think the tournament will really help our team to excel later in the season,” Sande said.