Swampland summer baseball league returns

Last summer, Vandebilt Catholic's Swampland Baseball League team — Robichaux Ford — went into the season with every intention of winning a summer title.

The Terriers accomplished that feat by going 13-1 overall and defeating E.D. White Catholic-based Synergy Bank 2-1 in the championship game of the developmental league.

But this season Robichaux Ford coach Corey Sullivan said, while the Terriers will still play to win, there are other priorities he has set for his team summer.

The Swampland Baseball League, which in its ninth season only allows players returning to their respective schools next school year to compete, starts on Thursday with games throughout the area and ends June 24-26 at Berwick High where the Top 6 seeds will battle for the league championship in a three-day playoff with the Top 2 seeds each earning first-round byes.

"First of all, I will look to develop some pitching," Sullivan said. "I lost three of my starting pitchers (off the 2013 high school team to graduation). Our main objective is to get experience on the mound and see who needs to be starters and who needs to be relief guys. I want to develop pitchers."

Sullivan said this summer will be a lot about learning for the Robichaux Ford team.

"We have a couple of guys who are going to be starters on our varsity team next season not playing (Swampland)," Sullivan said. "The objective this summer is a lot different than it was last summer. We want to fill a couple of positions and get some experience at certain spots."

Teams will have 13 regular-season playing dates and feature varsity and junior varsity squads.

Regular-season games will be played at home high school field on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays at 3:30 (junior varsity) and 5:30 p.m. (varsity) on fields with no lights and at 5 p.m. (junior varsity) and 7 p.m. (varsity) on fields with lights.

Teams competing this season will be H.L. Bourgeois, Covenant Christian Academy (Trinity Tools), South Terrebonne (South Louisiana Bank), Patterson, South Lafourche (Bayou Boys), Central Catholic (Halimar Shipyard), E.D. White Catholic (Synergy Bank), Morgan City (Skipper's Sporting Goods), Berwick (Taco Bell), Thibodaux (Reeco Rental), Terrebonne, Vandebilt (Robichaux Ford) and Central Lafourche (Jester's Court).

Thibodaux High and Reeco Rental head coach Darrell Hebert said the Swampland League provides coaches a great chance to spot some very young players, many who are heading into just the ninth grade.

"We lost some seniors, and we have to fill some spots, but we get a really good look at the younger, younger guys in the JV games and see how they fit in," Hebert said. "We are bringing along some of the eighth graders who are going to be ninth graders. We had a great tryout on Saturday. We are setting them up in the athletic P.E. classes. We are excited about it."

The E.D. White-based team won Swampland titles in 2005, 2006 and 2010. The South Terrebonne-based team won crowns in 2007, 2008 and 2011, and the Vandebilt-based team won titles in 2009 and in 2012.