The Gretna Dragons legion baseball teams hosted its first annual baseball banquet July 14 and handed out regular season awards to players before their varsity legion team competed in the postseason tournament beginning Friday in Norfolk.
Following the finale win of their regular season, the Dragons began their legion postseason with a matchup against a scrappy Columbus team on the road. Gretna’s Brayden Chaney got the start on the mound and tossed a complete seven-inning, shutout game and gave up only five hits alongside eight strikeouts. Rusty Wortman and Jackson Shelburne set the tone at the plate with two RBI a piece as the Dragons cruised to a 5-0 victory.
Gretna’s game two of the Norfolk area tournament was against Fremont on Sunday night. The Dragons edged out a gritty 7-6 win behind Wortman’s team-high two hits and three RBI. Shelburne, Wortman and Chuck Thomas all combined for seven innings of work on the mound with three earned runs and seven strikeouts.
Prior to their two-game postseason win streak, the Dragons hosted an awards banquet for all freshman, sophomores, juniors and seniors in their baseball program. Two awards were presented per team, the Most Valuable Player award and the Mr. Baseball award. After a 26-11 Dragons’ regular season record this summer, Shelburne was awarded the MVP and Wortman was awarded the Mr. Baseball award in honor and memory of former Gretna Dragon Colin Janssen.
Janssen played baseball for Gretna from 2003-2006 and was a part of the Dragons’ first-ever state legion championship team in 2003. After being diagnosed with an extremely rare form of cancer, Janssen’s life was unfortunately taken too soon during his baseball career at Midlands University. Janssen was in pursuit of a teaching degree and wanted to coach baseball after graduation. Coincidentally enough, Wortman is also headed to Midlands University to play baseball.
The Dragons will look to continue their hot streak as they are slated to face the Norfolk seniors Monday evening in hopes of advancing to the regional bracket if they win the area tournament.