The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA


August 3, 2013

New Orleans manager new to position, not to tournament

JOHNSTOWN — Lou Wineski still remembers the week he spent in Johnstown 35 summers ago.

The New Orleans shortstop helped the Louisiana squad win five games and earn a title shot against Detroit Adray Appliance before falling short in a 12-inning game in the 1978 finale at Point Stadium.

“I went up to Johnstown in 1978 and played in the tournament when we were the national runner-up,” said Wineski, who will return for the 69th AAABA Tournament as a first-year manager with the New Orleans franchise. “Detroit beat us in the championship game in extra innings.”

Future major leaguer Orel Hershiser started for Detroit and worked 62⁄3 innings in the championship game against New Orleans in ’78.

“My father went up in 1956,” Wineski said of, Lou Wineski Sr., who was on a 4-2 third-place New Orleans team that year and played on the 1955 tournament champion squad. “I have it in me. I’m excited to coach in the tournament.”

This year’s New Orleans team has a solid foundation of nine returning players from last year’s 3-2 team that bounced back from an opening-day setback against Livonia to win three straight before dropping an elimination game against Baltimore, 5-4.

New Orleans  went undefeated in the Mississippi Congress Tournament, which includes semipro teams, late last month.

“One of the biggest strengths that we have is that we have kids who have played in big games,” Wineski said. “We’ve got five guys that played in the American Legion World Series last year and won it. We have three or four guys that were (key players) in Johnstown last year. That type of game situation is priceless.”

Center fielder Bubby Riley batted .412 in last year’s AAABA Tournament with three doubles and eight runs scored. First baseman Cameron Hoffman is another returnee who was among the top hitters in 2012 with a .381 average, two doubles, two homers and seven runs. Second baseman Sam Carriere played in the past two AAABA Tournaments. Also back are second baseman Brandon Snow (.200), and pitchers John DeArmond (1-0 in 2012 tournament), Chase Hymel (1-0, 3.24 ERA), Pierce Liberta, who did not record a decision in the tournament.

DeArmond was part of history in 2011, when he closed a combined AAABA Tournament no-hitter against Philadelphia at Fichtner Field in 2011.

New Orleans relies on a group of players who led American Legion World Series-winning Retif Oil team comprised of players from Jesuit High School in New Orleans.

Catcher Luke Voiron, who played in Johnstown two years ago and batted .333 on a AAABA Tournament runner-up squad, was part of the 2012 Legion World Series squad. Another catcher, Matt Robert, was on the Legion championship team.

They will be counted on heavily because veteran catcher Chris Eades suffered a shoulder injury in the Mississippi Congress Tournament.

Shortstop Tony Fortier-Bensen, right fielder Brady Williamson and right-handed pitcher Jonathan Hess also played on the Legion team that won the Series.

 Third baseman Jordan Caillouet and pitcher Brant Bourgeois are among a strong group of players from the Delgado Community College program led by New Orleans Hall of Famer Joe Scheuermann.

“Our 3-hole hitter, Bubby Riley, can hit for average and power,” Wineski said. “Brandon Snow, a middle infielder, Tony Fortier-Benson, our shortstop, have been swinging the bats well. Sam Carriere is the catalyst of our offense.”

Southeastern Louisiana’s Tanner Rainey is a third baseman and power pitcher expected to make a big contribution this week.

“We’re going up with a 19-man roster and nine of them are pitchers,” Wineski said.

“Pierce Liberta probably will be our No. 1 guy,” he added. “Tanner Rainey played at Southeastern Louisiana, and he’s in the mid-90s with his fastball. Bourgeois is in the low- to mid-90s from the left side.”


Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • Pirates Brawl 0420 Brewers top Pirates in game highlighted by dustup

    Ryan Braun homered in the ninth inning to tie it, then Khris Davis hit a home run in the 14th that put Milwaukee ahead for good.
    Yet those were hardly the big blows that attracted all the attention Sunday in the Brewers’ 3-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Football team ends boycott of embattled coach

    Minnesota State University-Mankato’s football team has ended its boycott of reinstated head coach Todd Hoffner, who successfully fought child pornography charges and other misconduct accusations that removed him from the job for 20 months.
    Hoffner said he assured the players, who refused to take the practice field Wednesday, that interim coach Aaron Keen, who led the team in Hoffner’s absence, will continue in a major role with the team.

    April 20, 2014

  • Penguins 0420a Game 3 pivotal for both teams

    Not so long ago, the Columbus Blue Jackets were the worst team in the NHL.
    Now they’re heading home for tonight’s Game 3 of their first-round Stanley Cup playoff series with the star-studded Pittsburgh Penguins, hoping to make even more history.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Penguins 0419 Blue Jackets outlast Pens in double-OT

    Matt Calvert banged home a rebound 1:10 into the second overtime and the Columbus Blue Jackets earned the first playoff victory in franchise history with a 4-3 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday night.
    Pittsburgh’s Marc-Andre Fleury stuffed the initial shot by Cam Atkinson but Calvert stood all alone at the left post and wristed a shot into the open net to even the Eastern Conference quarterfinals at one game each.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Pirates 0419 Brewers rally to clip Pirates

    Ryan Braun hit two homers, including a two-run shot with two outs in the ninth inning that sent the Milwaukee Brewers over the Pittsburgh Pirates 8-7 Saturday night.
    Braun has five home runs this season after being suspended for the last 65 games of 2013 following Major League Baseball’s investigation into the Biogenesis drug scandal.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Area runners gearing for Boston Marathon

    The time was 12:15 p.m. It was Monday April 19, 1897.  Tom Burke had drawn a line across the dirt road with his foot. Eighteen men gathered near Metcalf’s Mill in Ashland, Massachusetts.

    April 19, 2014

  • SRU vs UPJ baseball0418 1 UPJ takes one, drops second

    John Fees’ spring baseball season accurately mirrors that of his Pitt-Johnstown team.
    Fees started slow, losing his first four decisions, but has rebounded nicely in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference West Division.

    April 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • Pirates 0418 Brewers ward off late Pirates rally bid

    Kyle Lohse pitched effectively into the seventh inning, Carlos Gomez homered and the Milwaukee Brewers beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 5-3 Friday night.
    Lohse (3-1) improved to 11-2 in his career against the Pirates, allowing one earned run in a win against them for the second time in six days.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Drama lacking sans Tiger

    If professional golf saw its future at Augusta National last weekend, the sight had to be worse than choking on a 5-foot putt.
    The course was there in all its splendor.

    April 18, 2014

  • Penguins 0418 Penguins are wary of spunky Blue Jackets

    Sidney Crosby is used to the attention. It comes with the territory when you’re the best hockey player in the world.
    Still, the Pittsburgh Penguins star knows the spotlight becomes more acute in the Stanley Cup playoffs.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo