Bulldogs making history!
Springfield punches ticket to Sulphur with sweep of Avoyelles Public Charter!

SPRINGFIELD, LA—The Springfield Bulldogs made it look easy rolling through their LHSAA Class 2A Quarterfinal series with the Vikings of Avoyelles Public Charter. Springfield plated twenty runs in the two-game sweep while allowing only two. Senior Blake Lobell and junior Jayden Teague worked games one and two respectively on the mound and shut the door on the Vikings as the Bulldogs shutout Avoyelles Public Charter 7-0 in the first contest and 13-2 in the second game. Lobell pitched a one-hitter fanning 11 Viking batters and Teague fanned five in earning his win on the bump.
    The quarterfinal victory propelled the Bulldogs into a re-match with their District rival Doyle who was equally dominating in their sweep of D'Arbonne Woods Charter to earn their trip to Sulphur. The Tigers racked up 17 runs in their two-game sweep yielding only one run in each contest. Doyle and Springfield split in league play and tied for the District runner-up spot behind champion Saint Thomas.
    The Bulldogs had the hot hand at the plate in their two-game series with Avoyelles Public Charter collecting 19 hits. Slyden Lyles led Springfield with four hits and three RBIs over the two games. Lobell, Teague, and Will Taylor all had three hits while freshman Will Sanders collected four RBIs on one hits in two games.
    The LHSAA State Baseball Tournament at McMurry Park in Sulphur, Louisiana is set for May 11-14. Springfield and Doyle will play their semi-final May 11 at 6:00 p.m. on field 40. If they can advance, they will play the winner of Rosepine and Many.
PLAYOFFS!! Game two vs. Fisher.

Bulldogs advance to the Quarterfinals with 8-3 win over Fisher.

SPRINGFIELD, LA—The Springfield Bulldogs completed a sweep of the Fisher Gators Saturday jumping out to a 4-0 early lead and crusing to a win behind a complete game pitching performance by junior Jayden Teague who fanned nine batters allowing three runs on six hits and walking one. Senior Blake Lobell carried the big stick for the Bulldogs smacking a two-run dinger. Sophomore Kyle Ridgedell got the scoring started for Springfield in the second inning with single that scored two runs.
    The Bulldogs notched eight hits on the day with senior Will Taylor collecting two singles to lead Springfield.
    Lane Creppel took the loss for the Gators allowing eight runs on eight hits over four and a third innings striking out one.
    The Bulldogs will host Avoyelles Charter in the Quarterfinals who defeated Winnfield 2-1 in their three-game series.
Big fifth innings dismisses Gators as Springfield scores an 11-1 win.

SPRINGFIELD, LA—The visiting Fisher Gators stayed in it through two and a half innings holding onto to a 1-0 lead, but the Springfield Bulldogs answered in the bottom half of the third plating three runs to take the lead and never looked back. The Bulldogs put the game away in the fifth notching seven runs as Blake Lobell, Jayden Morris, and Will Sanders all knocked in runs in the inning. Springfield ended in the sixth with a mercy rule win 11-1.
    Lobell dominated on the bump fanning ten Gator batters while allowing just three hits and walking one. Bryce Thorton took the loss for Fisher. The lefty allowed nine hits and 11 runs striking out five.
    The Bulldogs and Gators will play game two Saturday at 1:00 p.m.
The WILLS have their WAY with the Rockets!
Bulldogs celebrate Senior Night with a 13-3 romp over Holden.

SPRINGFIELD, LA—If there is a Will there is a way. Will Taylor and Will Sanders each smacked three hits and combined for four RBIs to pace a 13-3 romp over the visiting Holden Rockets. Kyle Ridgedell added two more hits and two RBIs to the Bulldogs total as Springfield racked up a dozen hits including a four-bagger by Sladen Lyles. The win improved Springfield's season mark to 18-9 and will likely secure the number three power point ranking for the Bulldogs.
Lobell and Sanders pace sweep of Northlake.
Lobell solid on the mound and Sanders collecting three hits and three RBIs.

SPRINGFIELD, LA—The Springfield Bulldogs got a dominating pitching performance from Blake Lobell and a three hit night by Will Sanders to complete a sweep of their two-game District series with the Northlake Wolverines winning 10-0.
    With the win, the Bulldogs evened their league mark at 5-5 and moved into the District Runner-up position. More importantly Springfield remained in third place in the Class 2A power points rankings heading into the playoffs. The Bulldogs will celebrate Senior Night on Friday hosting Holden and then await the playoff brackets to be released.
Teague quiets Wolverines batters as Bulldogs dismiss Northlake 11-1.
Springfield gets back to their winning ways.

SPRINGFIELD, LA—The Springfield Bulldogs used a solid outing on the mound by junior Jayden Teague and 11 hits to dismiss the visiting Northlake Wolverines in six innings winning a mercy rule game 11-1. The District win ended a four-game skid in league play and the Bulldogs improved to 4-5 in District with a chance to even their league record with one more game against Northlake to close out District play. Teague limited the Wolverines to just three hits while fanning four.
    Will Taylor led the Bulldogs with three hits and an RBI and Will Sanders collected three RBIs on one hit. Sladen Lyles and Blake Lobell each added two hits to help pace the Springfield offense.
    The Bulldogs are currently in third in the Class 2A power points behind Bunkie. With two games left, Springfield will be looking to hold their spot and hope to move up with a sweep of their final two games. Rosepine has a solid hold on the top spot in Class 2A and is expected to be the number one seed in the LHSAA playoffs.
Bulldogs enter final week of District play.

Springfield to play Northlake in a two-game series.

SPRINGFIELD, LA—The Bulldogs enter their final week of District play this week taking on Northlake Christian in a two-game series starting Monday when the Wolverines visit Springfield. Both teams will be looking to sweep for a chance to challenge for league runner-up behind Saint Thomas who has already clinched the outright District title.
    Despite a rough couple of weeks in league play that saw the Bulldogs drop four District games, they remain at number three in the current Class 2A power point rankings and with a strong finish can secure their top five position. Both Springfield and Northlake have three league wins and winning two more with some help from Saint Thomas who plays Pope John Paul II would put them in the mix to finish second in District.
Lobell pitches complete game and delivers three hits.
Bulldogs get back to winning ways.

SPRINGFIELD, LA—After a tough loss to French Settlement on Wednesday, the Springfield Bulldogs returned to their winnings with Blake Lobell on the mound and at the plate. The senior right-hander pitched a complete game fanning eight while allowing two hits and one run. He was the leader at the plate as well going three-for-three and scoring a run..
    Pope John Paul II got on the board first scoring when Carson Johnson singled scoring one run. The Bulldogs rallied to take the lead when Will Sanders hit into a fielder's choice scoring a run.
    Caiden Amie took the loss for the Jaquars giving up four runs and five hits while striking out five.

It is not a secret anymore ...
2022 Baseball Preview

SPRINGFIELD, LA—Secrets are hard to keep and especially when you rack up 24 wins, boast a pitcher that threw a perfect game and several no hitters, and a team that advanced within a whisker of making the LHSAA Class 2A semi-finals. Yes, the secret is out about the Springfield Bulldogs and they will not be sneaking up on anyone this season. The Bulldogs enter 2022 with lots of expectations from fans and media and their own lofty goals.
    “Last year I thought we were really talented and had a chance to be good and our kids worked hard and performed well,” said Springfield head baseball coach, Chris Blanchard. “Folks around Springfield knew that we were going to be good but as far the rest of the state and even in our own district we surprised some people. This year it is no longer a surprise.”
    “It does make it harder when everyone knows everyone so you can’t sneak up on a team,” said Springfield senior Blake Lobell. “I do think that last year we had a slight advantage because no one outside our team knew what JT (Jaden Teague) was going to have such a great season. We kind of had him as a secret weapon there for a while and that is why we went nine innings with a great Doyle team in our first district game. No one knew just how good he was and is.”
    Lobell, the other ace on the mound for Springfield, was nursing an injury early in the season last year so sophomore Jaden Teague was called on more to pitch and proceeded to have a breakout year going 8-1 with several no hitters and a perfect game.
    “I expect Blake (Lobell) and Jaden (Teague) to both have really good years,” said Blanchard. “Blake was coming off an injury at the beginning of last year. We had to gradually work him in so he did not get as many innings early to get him polished like Jaden was able to do. Jaden got a lot of work early and got to the point where he was really comfortable. Blake was a little behind because of his injury. I expect Blake to have a great year on the mound and at the plate where he led the team last season. He is going to LSU Eunice to play college ball and the guys that go there are pretty darn good.”
    The Bulldogs are a confident group and they welcome the expectations that their supporters have. “Every year we go out with the goal of beating everyone in our district,” said Springfield senior Will Taylor. “The seniors this year have all started since our freshman year. In the past, we were always the youngest team in the district. This year it is us and Saint Thomas. We are the two oldest teams in the District. We believe we can go toe to toe with anyone in this district and beat them. We have great arms on the mound and we will put the ball in play enough that we can scratch across a couple of runs.”
    Coach Blanchard echoed his senior’s sentiments. “We welcome expectations. We want to be a team that people expect to go deep in the playoffs. We try every year to hold the kids to a high standard. Some years, talent will let you do that easier than others, but our goal every year is always to make it to state championship and win. Big goals inspire and motivate.”
    Along with being a team that brings back experience and is older, the Bulldogs already have three seniors who have inked their commitments to play at the college level to include Lobell, Taylor, and Sladen Lyles. The Springfield roster boast 10 upperclassmen in all with a dozen underclassmen waiting the wings to offer depth.
    Indeed the secret is out about Springfield but there is another quality about them this season that will help their talent and hard work shine even more. “I feel like we got closer together as a team since last year,” said Springfield senior Sladen Lyles.
    “Guys have bought in as a players and a teammates,” added Lobell. “Due to the pandemic our freshman year was the only year we had played a complete season with our current coach so we were all having to learn about each other and buy into his approach thus, last year was really only our second full year working with our new coach. It was a growing process and it has made us a closer group and better able to understand each other.”
     “What makes us better this year is we help each other a lot,” explained fellow senior Will Taylor. “Last year if one of us were to tell someone they were doing something wrong it came across negative. This year we are always trying to pick each other up. We made it as far as we did last year doing it more independently. This year we know we have to come together if we want to make it further. Everyone is coachable. We are always helping each other so we can play the best with each other.”
    Pitching is expected to be the strength of this team especially early according to Blanchard with offense always being a little behind the defense. “Jaden is a kid that just throws strikes,” Blanchard explained. “He pounds the zone. He had three or four no hitters and a perfect game mixed in last year. Jaden is one of those guys that you think should not be beating teams as often as he does. He is not showy or overpowering. What makes him effective is not so much that he has several different pitches, it is that he throws them for strikes.”
    Along with aces Teague and Lobell, the Bulldogs have two more seniors and a freshman that is expected to help fill out the bullpen. Seniors Owen Hodges and Ethan Anthony who will both play in the outfield will see time on the mound. Will Sanders, a freshman, projected to start at second base will give Springfield a young arm. Lobell had high praise for the freshman. “Will (Sanders) is very developed for his age in baseball. He has played high level baseball from a young age and he will be able to come in and fill that spot that Bryce Vittorio filled last year.”
    “Hopefully he (Sanders) can fill those shoes,” added Blanchard. “He does not have to do anything special just make regular plays and be competitive at the plate and he can help us.”
    Rounding out the infield is Taylor at short and Lyles at first. Lobell and Teague will both play third depending on which one is pitching. “Will (Taylor) is no different than he has always been,” said Blanchard. “He has gotten a little faster and gotten stronger. He is always one of the last ones to leave to cage every day. He has worked to get a lot better at ground balls. Defensively is where he has made the most improvement and was really good for us last year at short. He could have a down year and hit .400 for us.”
    The new kid on the block this season will be at catcher as sophomore Kyle Ridgedell will be asked to fill some big shoes left by Logan Lobell, now playing at the college level. “Our goal is for Kyle (Ridgedell) to catch,” said Blanchard. “I believe he can do it. He has shown a lot of growth in the position. If we get into a situation where he is not available both Lyles and Lobell can catch if needed.”
    The Bulldogs return Jayden Morris in centerfield. Hodges is expected to play in right field. Blanchard sees left field as still a competition with three guys he believes can play the position. “We have several that can play there,” continued Blanchard. “Anthony can do it, Tripp Sims, and Thad Whittington. We have a healthy competition which is good and whoever is playing the best will be out there.”
    At the plate, the Bulldogs hope to make their biggest improvement over last season cutting down on strikeouts and creating more quality a bats. “It is about having good at bats getting on base with a bunt, walk or maybe hit by a pitch. We keep a quality at bat chart on our guys and there are nine ways to have a quality at bat and only one of them is getting a base hit—getting a ball in play or getting a runner over just to name two. We have to be able to do the small things to put pressure on defenses,” continued Blanchard.
    The battle for District 10-2A last season was epic to say the least with the league teams combining for 108 wins and a race that was decided by both the top tier and lower tier teams. Saint Thomas and Doyle ended up sharing the title but not before the Falcons were upset by Northlake and Doyle fell to Pope John Paul II.
    “Our district is extremely tough,” said Blanchard “We have good coaches and players. Saint Thomas is really good this year and even though Doyle lost some great players to graduation they have some really good talent coming up so they have to be a favorite again to win district. Seems they just reload every year. Pope has a new coach and while they are young this year they are going to be good. I would not be surprised if the district champs this year had two or three losses. It is just a very competitive district.”
    Springfield, who despite a great overall record, came up short of expectations finishing fourth in District last year. They see this season as one of some unfinished business. “I believe that we are going to finish what we started and do what we should do,” said Lyles.
    “It was a very tough district for everyone. You saw Doyle drop one to Pope and you saw Saint Thomas drop one to Northlake,” said Lobell. “Everyone brought something to the table and every game was going to be a battle. We had close games almost every game. We lost 2-1 in nine to Doyle and 3-2 to Saint Thomas. All but one of our district teams was in the top fifteen rankings.”
    The Bulldogs boast a good mix of leaders all with different styles but all wanting the same goals. “A leader is a person that people are willing and wanting to follow and you want that leader to be leading in the right direction doing things right,” said Blanchard. “We are fortunate to have a solid group of leaders.”
    “What I think makes a person a good leader in sports is obviously knowing the game, knowing the situation so you are not wrong whenever you tell a teammate something trying to help guide them,” explained Taylor. ”It is also so important knowing how to talk to different people. Not everyone is the same and you cannot talk to them the same.”
    Blanchard definitely agrees with his senior short stop (Taylor) and trusts that he knows the game. “Whenever I see Will (Taylor) talking to another player giving some instruction, I just stand back and let him talk.”
    Lobell added even more perspective on leadership. “A good leader is able to control a bad situation. When you look at a good leader you cannot tell if they are having a good or bad day. They stay on an even keel and that is how you have to play baseball. You cannot let others know what is going on because if you do, the other team can take advantage and beat you because they know when to attack you at a weak point.”
    Preparing for a successful season and hopefully a deep playoff run requires a lot and maybe one of the overlooked areas is players taking some time to reflect and get their mental approach right. Taylor, who suffered an injury right before the playoffs last season, made something good out of a disappointing situation.
    “Everybody says that baseball is a humbling sport,” said Taylor. “I was having a great year and the team was having a lot of fun. Right when it got crunch time reality struck for me with an injury and it was tough watching the second round playoff from a hospital bed and the third round on crutches. It could not have happened at a best-worse time. It was terrible timing during the season, but I had the whole summer right after that to heal, recover and relax my mind and realize I cannot change what life throws at you. You just have to roll with it. I feel like coming back this year it does not really bother me that I got injured last year and some things did not go our way. Even if we had won state last year, you still have to reset. This year is a new year.”
    Lobell also shared how his mindset has changed this year for the better. “Along with really getting into the weight room this year as I had not done that before, I have really learned and accepted that this team has my back,” explained Lobell. “This team is behind me no matter what. Knowing if I miss a pitch it is OK. My greater trust and confidence in my teammates takes some weight off my shoulders.”
    Blanchard added one more nugget that he believes will help his team prepare for successful season and that was done with his schedule. “The fourth week we are going to Montgomery, Al to play a series with Montgomery Catholic,” said Blanchard. “This will be like a practice playoff trip especially for the young guys so they can understand how we stay in a hotel, eat right, get to sleep on time and prepare for a game on the road.”
    A district championship, a deep playoff run and a state title require talent and preparation to achieve but they also require some luck, the thing no one can control. For the Bulldogs, they have talent, work ethic, unity and leadership, and they hope the baseball gods will grant them good luck as well as they work to make 2022 their year.

2022 District 10-2A
FALCONS 10-0, 28-7
Springfield 5-5, 23-9
Doyle 5-5, 21-14
PJP II 4-6, 13-18
Northlake 3-7, 13-16
Fr. Settlle 3-7, 13-18

2021 District 10-2A
Saint Thomas 8-2, 28-5
Doyle 8-2, 26-8
PJP II 6-4, 16-11
Springfield 5-5, 24-9
Northlake 2-8, 6-21
Fr. Settlement 0-8, 6-16

2021 Game Changer
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