For Retif Oil’s American Legion Season, the Song Is Over

Posted August 11, 2014 / Last updated August 16, 2014

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The final prayer of the season: Retif Oil players and coaches gather for some final words before departing Little Rock.

The final prayer of the season: Retif Oil players and coaches gather for some final words before departing Little Rock.


View the Retif Oil – Columbia, Tennessee Photo Gallery (Sunday, August 10, 2014)

View the Retif Oil – Tupelo, MS Photo Gallery (Saturday, August 9, 2014)

View the Retif Oil – Kansas Photo Gallery (Friday, August 8, 2014)

View the Retif Oil – Bryant, Arkansas Photo Gallery (Thursday, August 7, 2014)

For Retif Oil, it was a surprisingly robust season with some unexpected magical touches. But the song is over. Retif Oil’s summer baseball season ended at 25 wins, 13 losses. It was over too fast on a stifling Sunday afternoon in Little Rock at the American Legion’s Mid-South Tournament.

The Jesuit-based Retif team came close to beating a most excellent opponent from Tennessee. But close doesn’t cut it. Retif and Tennessee are two classy teams and they fought like a couple of Rottweiler, swapping leads several times. Retif reclaimed the lead, 7-6, in the bottom of the 7th and appeared to have the boys from Columbia on the ropes. But Tennessee scored two runs in the 8th which Retif couldn’t respond to. Final score: Tennessee 8, Retif 7.

Jack Burk, a right-hander whose arm was instrumental in the second to last game of the state tournament (against Refuel, who Retif beat twice to earn their trip to Little Rock), took the loss. Burk started out shaky and even though he threw his best pitches, the Tennessee team could hit. Burk was nicked for 8 runs on 8 hits. He beaned three batters and struck out 4. Burk’s American Legion season record is 3-2.

Retif had a team total of 13 hits with Scott Crabtree leading the way with four, including three doubles. His batting average for the four games Retif played was .429. Ben Hess (.357) hit a trio of singles. Trent Forshag (.313)  had two hits, including a triple. Dan Edmund (.294) was good for a two-bagger. Three Retif players each had a single: Nick Ray (.267)  Brandon Briuglio (.267), and Matt Cedro (.167).

Interestingly, Retif defeated Columbia’s Legion team in 2012 at the Mid-South Regional Tournament held in New Orleans. This was the tournament that sent Retif Oil to the World Series in Shelby, N.C. which the team won. Now it’s Columbia’s turn. After beating Retif, the Tennessee team faced the daunting task of returning on Monday to play Bryant, Arkansas (Blacksox). Columbia needed to beat the Blacksox twice to win the tournament. And they did just that, winning the first game 8-3. It was a much closer game the second time around for the championship, but Columbia prevailed, 12-11.

After Sunday’s game between Retif and Columbia, TN,  Coach Joey Latino pulled his players to the side for a few minutes and spoke to them from the heart. Below are are his remarks.

When I look back on this summer, I will remember three things: your hard work, your dedication, and your character. That’s really what you gave me, beginning with Christian (Latino) and Glynn Hyer. I can’t thank you two enough. You did it right, that’s all I’m going to say. You did it right. You guys who are coming back next year… Learn from this experience, not just from the baseball aspect, you learn from the loyalty aspect. You learn about what it is to give. You learn what it is to go through something and see it through completion. That’s important.

We live in a world now where it’s “all about me.” It’s all about what I want to do now, and it’s all about my promotion, my showcasing. Nowhere is it worse than in the world of sports. Everything is about the individual. All you have to do is flip on a TV and watch how major league players, professional athletes conduct themselves.

You are the generation of athletes that has got to try and change that. You have to show people what it means to be committed, dedicated, part of something that is significant and real. And American Legion baseball is such a product. We don’t think of it as such in New Orleans and that’s unfortunate. We’ve let it slip away from us. But on a national level, Legion baseball is very, very important and significant.

I can’t thank you guys enough for this summer. It’s been one bumpy road: injuries, mistakes, and frustration. If anybody had told me at the beginning of summer, back in May, that we would be state champions in American Legion and would be playing on the 4th day of the Mid-South Regional, I’d have had a hard time believing them.

We got to this point because of you, your hard work, your dedication, and your character. Remember those three things that I use to define you. They will stick with you for the rest of your life. You’re a good group of boys. I can’t thank you enough. You should appreciate each other as well. You did a lot of growing this summer. You came together, you shared an awful lot in terms of trips, hotels, and activities. All those things are going to bind and bring you together. All those things work to make you a unit, a cohesive and a strong unit. I’m excited about what we have going into next prep season. Beyond that you guys are going to be fine, ok? You’re going to be fine. Now come together for one last prayer.

Read More…

Tournament Statistics: Retif Oil Individual Players

Tournament Statistics: Team & Leaders Summary

Tournament Statistics: Game Results

View Retif Oil – Tennessee Play-by-Play Box Score

N.O. Advocate: Retif Oil eliminated from regional