St. Mary will represent not only the area but the state of Louisiana when it begins play in the South Zone Pony 13 Tournament in Houston on Thursday.
St. Mary, the Central Region Champion (Louisiana, Mississippi and Arkansas), advanced to Houston after winning a three-team Super Region Tournament in Bayou Vista earlier this month.
In Houston, St. Mary will be joined by seven Texas squads and two from Florida.
St. Mary will begin play Thursday against Pasadena, Texas, at Bayland Park. The winner receives a bye to Saturday’s third-round action, while the loser will fall to an elimination bracket where it will face the loser of either Forest Hills, Fla., or Oso, Texas, at 6 p.m.
During their preparations, St. Mary coach Shaun Roberie said much of his squad’s preparations have been relegated to the batting cages because of rain the area has received.
Monday was the first time the squad has been able to practice on a baseball field.
“We’ve been basically just going back and sharpening our fundamentals,” Roberie said of the team’s preps.
During the Super Region tournament, St. Mary blasted Brown Park, 18-2, in five innings in its first game and followed it up with an 8-3 win against Cajun Sports Association for the tournament title.
While the competition will no doubt be tougher in Houston, Roberie said he thinks his team is excited to see how they match against other qualifiers.
He said for his team to be competitive, they’re going to have to pitch, hit and field well.
“That’s what we’re focusing on, being a fundamentally sound team,” he said.
Confidence doesn’t hurt, either, something that the squad received when they attended a 14-year-old tournament and competed well against the competition, including one win, Roberie said.
The squad left this morning for Houston and will attend a banquet for all the squads tonight before turning their attention to baseball on Thursday.