It might have been a soggy and nearly sunless Mother’s Day, but that didn’t prevent Delgado Community College baseball coach Joe Scheuermann from treating his 80-year-old mother, Maureen, to a traditional steak dinner with all the trimmings.
Well, it was traditional by the Scheuermanns’ standards. Some of the amenities that many mothers are accustomed to on their special day — like a nice restaurant setting — were missing.
“We had a steak dinner at Kirsch-Rooney Stadium,” Scheuermann said of another family get-together at a ballpark. “With a George Foreman grill, you can do almost anything.”
Along with the steak, son Joe’s Dolphins served up a 13-inning, 6-1 victory over Meridian Community College, in the process clinching the Region XXIII championship and a trip to the NJCAA South Central tournament, which will be hosted by Crowder CC May 16-18 in Neosha, Mo.
Dessert was served late, and came in the form of a five-run outburst in the top of the 13th inning that was cobbled together on two hits, the biggest being Jordan Caillouet’s three-run triple, two intentional walks, a hit batsman and a throwing error by Meridian shortstop Brooks Balisterri.
In winning for the 28th time in 29 games played at Kirsch-Rooney this season, Delgado, the third-ranked team in the NJCAA baseball poll, dished out something hard to digest to another visiting team — never mind that, Sunday night, the Dolphins technically were the visitors.
Only a 5-3 loss to Baton Rouge CC on April 26, in the second game of a doubleheader, kept the Dolphins (40-10) from winning all of their games at Kirsch-Rooney.
Maureen Scheuermann has spent quite a few days, and nights, up close and personal to the sport that has been such a big part of her family for so long. Not only is Joe the longtime coach of the Dolphins (this is his 24th season), grandson Tyler Scheuermann is Delgado’s director of baseball operations and sports information director.
And the field the Dolphins’ home games are played on — “Rags” Schuermann Field at Kirsch-Rooney Stadium — is named after Maureen’s late husband, Louis “Rags” Scheuermann, who was Delgado’s first baseball coach and served in that capacity from 1972 until his retirement in 1990, when he was succeeded by his son. A Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame inductee, Rags passed away in 1997, shortly before his 74th birthday.
So how many ballparks has the family matriarch been to as the wife and mother of baseball lifers?
“Mostly this one,” she said. “Between Rags and Joe, you could say I’ve had my fill. But today was great. The steak was good, and I had my family around.”
Intermittent but heavy rains soaked the Kirsch-Rooney field throughout the day, and even though the rain stopped around 3:30 p.m., the scheduled 7 p.m. start was pushed back 25 minutes to allow the grounds crew — that would be Joe Scheuermann and his players — additional time to treat the wettest areas as best they could.
But a win is a win is a win, damp and drawn-out ones included. In sweeping the three games they played in the tournament, Delgado — mostly known for its hitting (a .332 team batting average coming in) — instead got by on superb pitching: one run allowed in 31 innings.
Delgado broke in front with a run in the top of the third inning. With two away, Cole Freeman and Frankie Watts wered walked by Meridian right-hander Jonathan Porter before Josh Watkins’ opposite-field RBI single to left field.
It looked as if that would be enough as Delgado left-hander Jordan Priddle had his breaking ball working. Priddle nursed that slender lead through seven scoreless innings, with the only Meridian threat snuffed in the fifth inning when, on a delayed double steal attempt, Paul Angel was cut down at the plate on a strong throw from shortstop Troy Lewis, in anticipation of the strategy, made a strong throw to catcher Chris Eades.
But Meridian (26-26) got that run back in the eighth when Angel drew a walk, moved to second on Mac Seibert’s sacrifice bunt and, after an error by Lewis, scored on a safety squeeze by Grant Hill.
Delgado’s five-run explosion in the 13th owed in part to a curious decision by Meridian coach Dillon Suddath. With Freeman, who had been hit with a pitch by reliever Josh Curtis, on second base after a sacrifice bunt by Travis Frederick, Dillon signaled for the next two batters, Watkins and Austin Barrois III, to be intentionally passed to load the bases. Whatever the reasoning, it backfired when Eades followed with an RBI infield single. Ducote’s chopper to short was thrown away by Balisterri, and Caillouet’s sinking liner got past Angel, the center fielder, who splashed down in a puddle while attempting to make a diving catch.