2022 SAE World Series article written by Geary mason and Holcombe Rholader.
Baseball & Softball are American stables, and many people of all ages find joy in joining teams and playing against neighbors in friendly matchups. SAE is no stranger to these types of events, as just about every chapter has an intramural team or a college athlete as a member. Yet, one group of SAE alumni and actives have taken this concept to a grander scale, and in doing so has founded a fine tradition not just for alumni associations but also for collegiate chapters. They call it the SAE World Series!
Each June in New Orleans, a group of brothers of all ages gather together to play America's game underneath the hot Louisiana sun. The World Series has taken place annually since 1986, and from its humble beginnings it has grown into an event which draws SAE actives and alumni from across the United States. Organized by the New Orleans SAE Alumni Association, this event is a two day tournament featuring teams made up of current actives, recent alumni, and much older alumni decades removed from their time in the chapter. Teams are free to organize themselves as they see fit, with some teams mixing alumni of different chapters and others mixing actives and recent alumni. Yet, many chapters take pride in designating teams from within their membership and going out there trying to win it all. Regardless, all players are SAE’s, either currently or previously, and it becomes a brotherhood event on the largest scale. People network with other chapters and alumni, build friendships, share ideas, and maybe a laugh and a beer or two. It has become quite the competitive and lively event, and continues to grow and expand following weaker attendance during COVID-19.
This past June, The 37 th Annual SAE World Series was successfully held in New Orleans on Friday and Saturday, June 10 th and 11 th . Twelve teams participated in the double elimination softball tournament, with each game lasting 7 innings. As the sun rose on Friday the 10th, threatening rain clouds and distant thunderclaps loomed overhead all morning. Around 10 am, these clouds unleashed a deluge which left roughly five inches of water on the softball fields.
Rumors began swirling about a possible rain out of the SAE World Series, a surely disappointing turn of events. These rumors however turned out to be false, as the goddess Minerva ended the rain midday and delivered the sun to dry out the fields. The games would be wet and muddy, but the games would go on!
The Series began with a dedication to the memory of Dr. Val Earhart and Joe Burciaga. Dr. Earhart was a previous president of the New Orleans SAE Alumni Association and longtime supporter of the event. Joe Burciaga was a member of the University of South Florida SAE Alumni team that has consistently attended the event for decades. Both brothers passed away over the last year and will be greatly missed by the SAE World Series and everyone that knew them. The local Tulane chapter had the honors of leading everyone in singing the national anthem and Dr. Earhart’s daughters had the honor of throwing out the ceremonial first pitch after a moment of silence for both Dr. Earhart and Joe Burciaga.
Softball play began at 6pm with a pesky Millsaps active team shutting out the Tulane actives 13-0 in game number one. In Joe’s honor, the South Florida team opened play by defeating the New Orleans local alumni team, “Rejects” 16-8. The top four seeded teams received a first round bye and started playing at 7pm. The three time defending champion, “LSU Alums”, opened play by cruising to a 19-2 victory over Millsaps.
Across the softball complex, the second seeded Christian Brothers Alumni team bombed the hometown “Rejects 2” team 17-1 without mercy. The newly formed Louisiana Epsilon Alumni Association team delivered the same 17-1 bombing score to the LSU active chapter. Louisiana Epsilon’s Nick Harris hit five home runs over the 300 foot fence in the victory. The perenially tough Nicholls State active team produced a home run bombing campaign that defeated South Florida 28-9. In the consolation bracket’s elimination games, the LSU actives edged the Rejects 3-0 and then eliminated the Tulane active team 14-0 to stay alive. Tulane’s two losses with a combined score of 27-0 would easily earn them the event’s friendly Last Place Award. Meanwhile, a much improved Millsaps team eliminated South Florida 10-3 late Friday night.
On the other side of the bracket, the LSU Alums would now face the Nicholls State team in an elimination game for a chance at redemption, with the winner of this game going on to face Christian Brothers again. The LSU Alums jumped out to a 3-0 lead after the first inning and Nicholls State answered with four runs in the second inning to lead 4-3. The LSU Alums fired back with key hits by Chandler Wynne and Matt Collett and led 7-4 after five innings. In the top of the seventh and final inning, Team captain Blake Ougel and the Nicholls State team added three runs to tie the game 7-7. In the bottom of the final inning, Austin North provided the key hit to score the one run needed to give the LSU Alums an 8-7 victory, as well as a rematch with Christian Brothers in the championship game.
A worn out LSU Alums team would now have to play their third game in a row, as well as needing to defeat Christian Brothers twice to repeat as champions. The title game started with Christian Brothers jumping out to a 2-0 lead on a two run double in the first inning by John Shaw. The next few innings were very defensive as both pitchers kept the bats cold. Christian Brothers added a run in the fourth and the LSU Alums scored a run to make it 3-1 Christian Brothers after five innings. Both teams added a run in the sixth to keep Christian Brothers ahead, 4-2. Christian Brothers pitcher Rob Parsons and shortstop Mason Cagle held the LSU Alums scoreless the rest of the way to preserve a 4-2 Christian Brothers victory and win the 37 th SAE World Series, their third SAE World Series title.
The Christian Brothers team (pictured below) was elated, as they had been waiting for this day. Following their consistent participation over the past decade, as well as winning the event in both 2016 and 2018, they were hungry for another and finally brought the trophy back home. Eathen Taylor’s consistent hitting and numerous home runs throughout the tournament earned him the MVP honors for Christian Brothers.
Following the tournament, all participants and teams convened again in downtown New Orleans for the awards banquet, featuring a Cajun home cooking buffet by host committee member Todd Brady. This event was a wonderful opportunity for brothers to share experiences, younger actives to learn from more experienced alumni, as well enjoy a cold drink and a hot meal for all their hard work. The committee gave out a variety of awards, ranging from worst overall team to best, as well as some more comical ones, like the “Spirit” award or “Best Dressed Team” award. All and all, it was a wonderful experience for those that participated and everyone left the event with a galvanized spirit. The only question left unanswered after all the fun: Who will be next years champion?
The New Orleans SAE Alumni Association celebrates such a successful event by looking to the future. We welcome all alumni associations, chapters, and friends & family of SAE to find out more about this wonderful event. We hope to see you all there next year for two of America’s greatest pastimes: Brotherhood and Baseball. Full details can be found at www.saeworldseries.net and on social media (Facebook under ‘SAE World Series”; Twitter @saeworldseries; Instagram @sae_world_series)
LSU wins 3rd consecutive SAE World Series softball tournament on June 11th and 12th, 2021.
The New Orleans SAE Alumni Association hosted the 36th Annual SAE World Series softball tournament in New Orleans on Friday and Saturday, June 11th and 12th, 2021 at the City Park softball complex. The games began Friday night and the championship game was held on Saturday afternoon. There was a post tournament party on Saturday night at 30/90 Jazz Club on Frenchman st. Cajun jambalaya and a few other cajun dishes were expertly prepared by Todd Brady. (Camp cook.)
-Open to any SAE active or alumni. You must be an SAE to play softball. Family and friends are welcome to attend. -Double elimination format. Each team plays at least twice.
-Entry fee of $250 per team. Only $200 if you pay before June 1st. Register on the website. -Professional umpires provided. We are on Venmo. NOLAsae
LSU WINS THEIR FIRST SAE WORLD SERIES TITLE IN 34 YEARS by Geary Mason
The 34th Annual SAE World Series was again held in New Orleans on June 28-29, 2019. Twelve teams would participate in the all SAE double elimination softball tournament. After a ceremonial first pitch by longtime South Florida Alums team captain Steve Birk, the national anthem sung by about 100 SAE softball players, and a group photo, softball play began Friday evening. Just prior to the opening ceremonies, some high winds blew the rooftop off the dugout of the host committee’s team, ‘The Rejects’. The high winds blew some life into the usually doormat ‘Rejects’ team as they shocked Birk’s South Florida team 21-0. ‘Rejects’ team captain Ron Rigamer credited his squad’s success to their off season conditioning program and some personnel upgrades in free agency. Their twin team, ‘The Rejects 2’ did not fare as well, as they were unable to get anyone on base the entire game, losing to Nicholls State 26-0 in their opener. A specially requested opening game grudge match between the University of Houston actives and alums turned out with the Houston Alums prevailing 4-0.
The top four seeded teams received a first round bye then showed why they deserved the top seeding as #1 seeded Southern Mississippi easily defeated the Rejects 14-3. Second seeded LSU disposed of a tough Nicholls State team 6-2. The University of Louisiana-Lafayette Alums beat the University of Houston Alums 11-3. A strong Southern Miss squad then hammered the ULL Alums 18-3 to win their second game. In the consolation rounds the Rejects faced their twin team, the Rejects 2, and rallied in the last two innings to win 14-5 eliminating the Rejects 2. After losing to LSU 6-2, the Nicholls State team spanked South Florida 21-7 eliminating them. A dejected Steve Birk commented on his team’s first ever 0-2 showing, saying “we are in a rebuilding mode and will be much improved next year”. After ten SAE World Series championships and strong performances over many years, capturing the event’s “Last Place Award” was not what Steve was expecting. The hot Nicholls State team then eliminated the Houston actives 17-1, the ULL Alums 8-4 and the Houston Alums 13-1 as they captured 3rd place. The Houston Alums custom made uniforms earned them the “Best Dressed Award” and they played almost as good as they looked, defeating the Rejects 11-7 and Millsaps 4-0 before being eliminated by Nicholls State.
Softball play continued on Saturday as the only two unbeaten teams, LSU and Southern Miss faced off for a berth in the finals. Both teams played flawless defense the entire game and were tied 0-0 until the 5th inning when LSU’s Connor Maginnis tripled and Spencer Landry then singled to score Maginnis and take a 1-0 lead. Neither team could muster any more runs and LSU held on to win 1-0. After the loss, Southern Miss team captain Dalton Colee gave his team a pep talk and they responded with a solid victory over Nicholls State 8-1 and earned a rematch against LSU. Because of the tournament’s double elimination format, Southern Miss would have to beat LSU twice to win the tournament. In the rematch, Southern Miss dominated the entire game enroute to a 8-4 victory over LSU. With their first loss, LSU would now play Southern Miss in a deciding game for the championship. In the championship game, LSU scored two runs in each of the first, second and third innings to lead 6-0 after 3 innings. Team captain Chandler Wynne’s consistent hitting kept the LSU offensive attack going. In the fourth inning, LSU added four runs sparked by Spencer Landry’s home run to extend the lead to 10-0. Just to keep things light hearted, with LSU holding a comfortable 13-2 lead in the bottom of the seventh and final inning, Justin Untereiner took over to pitch as ‘the closer’ wearing no shirt and a Mexican wrestler ‘Nacho Libre’ style mask to pitch the final outs and preserve the win. The fun loving LSU team prevailed 13-2 to earn their first SAE World Series title after participating consistently for 34 years. Justin’s consistent hitting, solid defense and unique sense of humor earned him the tournament’s MVP award.
After the softball tournament, everyone ventured to New Orleans’ historic warehouse district for the awards banquet and more SAE comradery. We hope to see you and your SAE team at next year’s SAE World Series in New Orleans. Full details on this great event are at www.saeworldseries.net and on social media (Facebook under ‘SAE World Series’ ; Twitter @saeworldseries ; Instagram @sae_world_series ) See the attached official results of the 34th Annual SAE World Series.
The SAE World Series returned to the historic City Park softball complex in New Orleans for it’s 33rd edition on June 1st and 2nd. 12 teams competed in the 2018 event. The New Orleans SAE Alumni Association dedicated this year’s event to the recently deceased Dr. John M. Daly, a key founder of the New Orleans SAE Alumni Association in 1986. Many SAEs considered him the “Grand Old Man” of the New Orleans area. Dr. Daly’s three sons, Michael, David, and Scott (all SAEs), threw out the ceremonial first pitches to open the softball tournament. The opening ceremony included the SAE World Series Color Guard marching the American flag to the pitcher’s mound with everyone singing the Star-Spangled Banner in perfect harmony.
Action for the all-SAE double elimination softball tournament began on Friday night under the stars. The first game ended as expected as the home town Rejects lost 7-0 to the University of Louisiana-Lafayette (ULL) Alums. Making their World Series debut, the undergraduate chapter from Stephen F. Austin started out strong, crushing the hometown Rejects 2 team 17-1 (this game was not as close as the score showed).
Later that night, the Southern Mississippi chapter won a hard fought 12-9 victory over the LSU A team. After their victory over the Rejects, the ULL Alums pulled off the upset of the tournament defeating the defending champs from South Florida 16-13 in a high-scoring game decided in the last inning. Still high from their upset victory, the ULL Alums fell flat in their next game against Southern Miss losing 24-2. The “always tough” Christian Brothers team, led by team captain Kyle Talley, won their first game 18-8 over the LSU B team. After their initial win, the Stephen F. Austin team hit a brick wall losing to the Nicholls State A team 15-3. S.F. Austin bounced back in three straight elimination games defeating the Rejects 18-4, the LSU B team 12-3 and the ULL Alums 6-4.
On Saturday, Christian Brothers cruised to another easy win defeating the Nicholls State A team 25-2 advancing to the semi-final game. Christian Brothers veteran players John Voitier and John Shaw contributed to both victories with consistent hitting including a few home runs.
Meanwhile in the consolation bracket, the LSU A team knocked the South Florida team out of the tournament 26-3 and then eliminated Nicholls State A team 18-4. LSU stayed hot as they eliminated the Stephen F. Austin chapter 16-0. By now only the Southern Miss and Christian Brothers teams have not yet lost a game and squared off with the winner advancing to the finals. Kyle Talley’s Christian Brothers squad kept a lead the entire game winning 13-6. Southern Miss, fresh off the disappointing loss, then beat and eliminated the LSU A team 4-2 to advance to the finals. With the SAE World Series’ double elimination format, Southern Miss would have to defeat Christian Brothers twice to win the title.
Southern Miss batted first in the championship game and a solo home run by Josh Jacobs put them ahead 1-0. Christian Brothers answered with three runs to lead 3-1 after the first inning. A defensive game ensued until the sixth inning as Christian Brothers led 5-2. Southern Miss added two runs in the top of the sixth inning to close the score to 5-4 and threaten. The threat was short lived as Christian Brothers had a big sixth inning adding 5 runs extending their lead to 10-4. In their final at bat, Southern Miss could not muster a run and Christian Brothers held on for a 10-4 victory. This was the Christian Brothers team’s second SAE World Series title and secured their place in SAE World Series history.
The World Series. Some hear this and picture their favorite MLB team with the championship trophy; some think of Omaha, Nebraska, where the College World Series has been held since 1950; others remember their glory days of t-ball. However, if you are a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon, it triggers another event — the ΣΑΕ World Series. The first ΣΑΕ World Series was held in 1986 and, for the first time ever, was played in one night. After being rained out last summer and the possibility of threatening weather again this year, Geary Mason and the New Orleans Alumni Association had to think quickly. Not only did they change venues to the Val Riess Recreation Complex, but they also decided to condense the normally two day long event down to a single evening. The event wrapped up around 1 a.m., but not without some drama first. The venue may have changed, but there were still many famil iar faces around the ballpark as the 32nd Annual ΣΑΕ World Series led off. In one of the first games of the night, the local team, the Rejects, suffered a narrow loss at the hands of Millsaps, 2-0. The Rejects would later be eliminated at the hands of defending cham pion, Christian Brothers 27-1. However the Christian Brothers team was not able to defend their title as they were narrowly upended by the LSU Alums, 7-6, in a controversial ending on a play at second base. That loss would end Christian Brothers' 2017 World Series run and land them in 4th place. The underdog LSU Alums were able to keep their streak going by then upending the Nicholls State A team, 11-5, to advance to the championship. In the earlier matchup that evening, Nicholls State A team had won 13-5 and would finish in 3rd. Cinderella was not meant to find her slipper this time, as the South Florida Alums would win the championship by a final score of 17-6. This would be the South Florida Alums’ leading 10th title. After a great run, the LSU Alums not only finished with the 2nd place trophy but also earned the title of "Most Improved Award." Some other memorabilia included the ΣΑΕ Spirit Award (LSU), the Best Dressed(Louisiana-Lafayette Alumni), the Bourbon Street Award (Millsaps), the Old Timers Award (Jack Coiron, Rejects), the Steve Birk Dedication Award (Neil Anderson),theYoung Gun Award (Jarrod Bokhart) and the MVP, which went to Marcus Smith of the South Florida Alumni.
THE RECORD • SUMMER 2017 35
For the second year in a row, the post-tournament celebration took place at the Redeye Grill located in the French Quarter. Ron Rigamer, ΣΑΕ World Series co-chairman, stepped up and provided a great south ern-Louisiana meal for everyone in attendance. The meal included shrimp and jambalaya.
“This was my first-ever visit to the ΣΑΕ World Series and the city of New Orleans. I definitely look forward to attending again in the near future,” says Travis Tafoya, Coordinator of Educational Programs.
This event includes great cast of dedicated volunteers and teams; all that it is missing is you. Whether it is putting together a team to play in the tournament or trying to upend the defending champions or offering your services as a volunteer, we hope you can make it next year. Very special thanks to Geary Mason, Ron Rigamer and the best ΣΑΕ World Series t-shirt salesman you will ever meet, Michael Lorenzen, for all their years of dedication and hard work for this event. END
NEITHER RAIN NOR STORM CAN STOP 2016 SAE WORLD SERIES by Geary Mason
On the weekend June 3-4 of 2016 sixteen all-SAE softball teams from across the country came to New Orleans to compete in the 31st Annual SAE World Series. Moments after the ceremonial first pitch was thrown out and the national anthem played, the rain started. The rain continued throughout the weekend so hard that playing softball became impossible. For the first time in the event’s history, the annual SAE World Series had to be cancelled. But…, it wasn’t over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor in 1941, and it would not be over now! Perseverance and the SAE spirit prevailed and the softball tournament was rescheduled for December 2nd and 3rd of 2016. Months later only eight teams could reschedule and attend but they made a second trip to New Orleans to compete in the 2016 SAE World Series.
The December weather was chilly but dry as games began on Friday night. The tournament’s first game had the Nicholls State A team cruise to a 29-0 victory over the local Tulane active chapter. The Christian Brothers team from Tennessee then defeated the Nicholls State B team 17-2 to get warmed up. The strong Nicholls State A team then demolished the local alumni team known as the Rejects 30-3. On the other side of the bracket, the other local alumni team known as the Rejects 2 fared even worse getting slaughtered 48-0 to the Christian Brothers in the most lopsided loss in SAE World Series history. Both Rejects teams were completely outmatched in their pitiful losses but each team had only one loss thus far. The tournament’s double elimination format would give each Rejects team another chance to play and achieve a much desired win. In the winner’s bracket, Christian Brothers kept their bats alive by defeating the Nicholls State A team 30-13. Long time Christian Brothers SAE alum John Voitier led the team effort with three home runs and flawless defense. After getting slaughtered 29-0 in their first game, the Tulane active team got their act together and then defeated the local alumni “Rejects 2” team 13-0 in an elimination game. Fresh off their victory, the Tulane squad then beat the “Rejects” team 18-4 in their next elimination game to stay alive and advance in the consolation bracket. The Tulane team then met their match as the tough Nicholls State A team eliminated them 24-7.
This victory advanced the Nicholls State A team to the finals against Christian Brothers. Because of the double elimination format, the Nicholls State A team would have to win twice to claim the title. Team captain Jonathan Holliday and his Christian Brothers team jumped out to an early lead and hit nine home runs over the fences which are 300 feet from home plate. The Christian Brothers team would smash their way to a 24-10 victory and claim their first SAE World Series title after participating in the event for twenty years. After the tournament, all the teams ventured to a post tournament party in downtown New Orleans to celebrate the brotherhood of SAE. At the party, multiple awards were given to deserving teams and individuals. Most notable was the tournament’s “Last Place Award” given to the Rejects 2 team for losing both of their games by a shameful combined score of 61-0. Christian Brothers team captain Jonathan Holliday was deservingly named the tournament MVP. Please see www.saeworldseries.com for photos and detailed information on the event and future tournaments.
1st- Christian Brothers
2nd- Nicholls State A
Most Improved Award- Tulane
Farthest Distance Traveled Award- Christian Brothers
SAE Spirit Award- Nicholls State A and B teams
Best Dressed Award- Christian Brothers
Last Place Award- Rejects2
Bourbon Street Award- Rejects
Old Timer’s Award- John Shaw (Christian Brothers)
SAE Queen- Elise Voitier
Steve Birk Dedication Award- Jamie Devall (Rejects)
Young Gun Award- J.R. and Ben Cimini (Rejects)
MVP- Jonathan Holiday (Christian Brothers)
SOUTH FLORIDA ALUMS REGAIN THE GLORY AT 30TH ANNUAL SAE WORLD SERIES By Geary Mason
> For thirty years the New Orleans SAE Alumni Association has successfully hosted the SAE World Series softball tournament in New Orleans. This fun filled weekend brings together SAE actives and alumni from all over America to compete and share the brotherhood of SAE. The 30th annual tournament brought 18 all SAE teams to New Orleans on June 26th and 27th of 2015. The 2015 SAE World Series was dedicated to longtime event supporter Kevin P. Mahony who graduated from LSU in 1984. Kevin participated in and sponsored the SAE World Series for over 15 years and passed away recently after a tough fight with cancer. Kevin’s widow Alesia and his daughter Brenna Mahony threw out the ceremonial first pitch to officially start the two day event. Before the first pitch, Kevin’s former team, the Rejects, sang the Star Spangled Banner with Brenna Mahony.
> The double elimination tournament began at 6pm Friday on a humid New Orleans summer evening. The tournament’s first game went as planned as the tournament’s defending “Last Place Award” winners from 2014, the Nicholls State B team, got crushed 20-0 by the LSU Alums team. The active chapter from University of Texas-Tyler drove to town for their first ever SAE World Series and earned a hard fought 6-4 victory over the Millsaps team from Jackson,MS in their first game. Across the softball quadriplex, the Nicholls State A team easily defeated the Southern Mississippi B team 12-1 in their first game. A seasoned team from Christian Brothers University in Tennessee was upset by a first time team from University of Texas 11-5. The defending champion Southwest Texas Alums team was going for their third straight tournament title and warmed up their bats in a 17-4 win over the home team Rejects. Southwest Texas Alums team captain Geoff Harris kept his team’s home run reputation alive as they chalked up 5 homers in the easy victory. The Rejects twin team, the Rejects 2 ,didn’t fare any better as they fell 14-1 to the Texas State Alums in their opener. Later that night the winners would square off and the losers would play elimination games in hopes of keeping their slim title hopes alive. The young Texas-Tyler team found out what kind of competition existed at this event as they couldn’t muster a single run falling 19-0 to the defending champion Southwest Texas Alums in their second round game.
> Friday night’s consolation games were action filled as the home town Rejects actually won a game eliminating the Millsaps team 5-4. The Rejects victory celebration was short lived as the Texas State Alums would defeat them 10-1 in the next game and eliminate them from play. The Christian Brothers team that was upset in their first game refused to go quietly into the night as they eliminated five teams in a row to make it all the way to the final three teams in contention. Team captain John Voitier’s Christian Brothers squad eliminated in order the Southern Mississippi B team 15-2, the Southern Mississippi A team 15-6, the LSU Alums 11-2, the Nicholls State A team 15-13 and the Texas State Alums 10-8. On the adjacent field, the University of Louisiana-Lafayette Alums and the Texas State Alums played an elimination game that had the lead change four times and was decided in the bottom of the final inning by a walk off solo home run by Texas State Alums team captain Clint Carr winning the game 12-11 to eliminate the Lafayette Alums.
> The Nicholls State Alums team won their first two games defeating the LSU Alums 10-3 and Texas State Alums 11-3 earning the right to play the Nicholls State A team in the semifinal game, Both teams brought friends and family to watch and the stands were packed for this all Nicholls State game. The always loud Nicholls State crowd cheered for both teams as the Alums teams held back the young Nicholls actives 12-6 in a very spirited game. The other semi-final game pitted Geoff Harris’ defending champs against Steve Birk’s South Florida Alums team which had just edged the Southern Mississippi A team 11-10 in a come from behind victory. Geoff’s squad has claimed seven tournament titles over the years and Steve’s team has claimed eight titles dating back to 1994. Steve’s South Florida Alums team has played in every SAE World Series for over 25 years and last won the event in 2007. Steve’s team has aged over the years and has not been in the finals in seven years. In the off season, Steve recruited some new young alums from his chapter to upgrade his squad because many of his loyal team members are well into their forties.
> These two teams have met many times over the years and know each other on a first name basis. The game began as always with hitting by both teams as the lead changed four times until the South Florida Alums earned a 18-11 victory and berth in the tournament finals.
> On Saturday afternoon, the Southwest Texas Alums lost their consolation game to their chapter’s younger alumni team in an 11-6 upset which eliminated them from repeating as champs. This intra chapter rivalry created a strong bond between chapter brothers that are easily 15-20 years apart from each other in age. It also set the stage for a potential rematch in 2016 if the two teams should meet again next year. The South Florida Alums and Nicholls State Alums would play in the finals as the bleachers were filled by Nicholls State family and fans. The game was close to the end but Birk’s South Florida Alums team held off a late rally to preserve a 11-9 victory. The Nicholls State Alums had now lost their first game and because of the tournament’s double elimitation format needed to beat the Christian Brothers team to earn a rematch against Birk’s squad. The Christian Brothers team had just won five straight consolation games and ran out of gas falling to the Nicholls State Alums 11-9 in the final inning. This victory by the Nicholls Alums gave them another shot at the title but they would have to win twice to be tournament champions. Birk’s team roster was younger and ready for their fifth tournament game and Rene Labat’s Nicholls State Alums team ready for their sixth game. South Florida Alum Neri Tejienero got his team out to an early 3-0 lead but Tyler Koster answered with a three run RBI that put the Nicholls State Alums up 5-3 after two innings. The game stayed close as the South Florida Alums held a five run lead in the sixth inning. The Nicholls State Alums mustered only one more run and Birk’s South Florida Alums held on for a hard fought 14-10 victory and their ninth SAE World Series championship. Neri “the Nicaraguan Nightmare” Tejienero won tournament MVP honors and Robert Rendon, the chapter advisor for the Texas State chapter, won the Dedication Award. A post tournament party was held on Bourbon Street in the historic French Quarter as SAE brothers from all across the country celebrated the brotherhood of SAE for the 30th successful time.
SOUTHWEST TEXAS ALUMS CAPTURE 7TH SAE WORLD SERIES TITLE
The 29th Annual SAE World Series was held as usual in New Orleans as 18 teams of all SAEs from across the country competed for the coveted title of Eminent Supreme Champions. The double elimination softball tournament started on Friday night June 20th as each team would play twice under the lights. The 2014 SAE World Series was dedicated to the memory of Joseph M. Schmidt, the 10 year old son of loyal New Orleans Alumni Association member Evans Schmidt. Young Joseph passed away recently in an accident and loved baseball. His father Evans, a longtime SAE World Series supporter, threw out the ceremonial first pitch to officially start the event. Before the first pitch, TCU alum Duke Chairez (Texas Beta’88) and his teammates with their wives sang the Star Spangled Banner in true form. Duke and his TCU Alums team had played in the softball tournament 25 years ago and were returning to New Orleans with their wives to celebrate Duke’s 50th birthday. Months earlier, his wife and friends asked Duke how he wanted to celebrate his 50th birthday and without hesitation Duke said he wanted to return to New Orleans with his “Swinging Woodies” team to relive their glory days. Special guest Eminent Supreme Recorder Boomer Ayers came to New Orleans all the way from SAE headquarters to witness his first SAE World Series.
Game number one of the tournament saw first time SAE World Series participant active chapter from Midwestern State in Texas cruise to an easy 25-0 victory over the hapless Nicholls State B team. Yes, that is a softball score not a football score. The SAE World Series has no ten run rule as each team plays at their own risk of embarrassment. Across the softball complex the 30+ year old LSU Alums squeezed by the actives from North Florida 6-4. Steve Birk’s South Florida Alums teams, competing in their 22nd straight SAE World Series, beat the Nicholls State C team 10-5. Duke Chairez and his 50 year old team of Swinging Woodies were able to muster all their wood and come from behind to beat a similarly old group of alums from New Orleans called the Rejects II 4-3 in seven long innings. Host Committee co-chairman Ron Rigamer’s Rejects team followed with a respectable 8-5 loss to a tough Southern Mississippi A team to keep the host committee’s teams winless. The Midwestern State team’s first victory gave them confidence but their second game was against the defending tournament champion Southwest Texas Alums. Team captain Geoff Harris’ Southwest Texas Alum team showed their younger Texas brothers how to play "gorilla ball" as they hit nine home runs enroute to a 24-2 victory sending the Midwestern State team to the consolation round. Later in the evening a strong Nicholls State A team beat the Southern Mississippi A team 19-7. In the quarter-finals Duke Chairez’s 50 year old TCU Swinging Woodies found out that their glory days were indeed behind them as the South Florida Alums bombed them 19-1. Duke decided it was time for his Swinging Woodies team to practice their other skill set which was to swing their way to downtown New Orleans to relax and enjoy the French Quarter. The fourth team from Nicholls State, the Alumni team, won their opener 19-5 over the LSU Alums and then followed with an 11-1 victory over the Christian Brothers Alums to advance to the semi finals. In an elimination game, the host committee Rejects II stayed alive defeating the hapless Nicholls State B team 13-1. The Nicholls State B team’s two losses by a combined score of 1-38 would earn them the tournament’s “Last Place Award” for the seventh time in the last eight years. The New Orleans based Rejects II then got wasted 21-0 by a Nicholls State C team who looked all as good as their A team chapter brothers. The Oklahoma State actives showed up in “Hawaiian style shirts” and got beat 6-1 in their first game by Louisiana Lafayette but rebounded to eliminate the Midwestern State actives 8-5 later Friday night.
Saturday’s games began at 10am and party weary teams dragged their way to the ballpark to continue the consolation rounds. The Nicholls State C team continued their “Cinderella story” upsetting the Southern Miss A team in 12 long innings. With the game tied at 7-7 after seven innings, the elimination game continued for six more innings before Nicholls survived 8-7 to play again. The Nicholls C team then defeated Louisiana Lafayette 10-6 before losing to Birk’s South Florida Alums 15-2. In the semi finals, a great game between the Southwest Texas Alums and the Nicholls State A team ended with a Southwest Texas walk off home run to win 9-8 in the last inning. The Nicholls A team then went to the consolation round and regained their winning ways defeating the Christian Brothers Alums 5-3, then South Florida Alums 10-9 and then upsetting their own chapter’s Alumni team 10-4 to earn a berth in the finals against Southwest Texas Alums. Having lost their previous matchup, the Nicholls A team would have to win twice to win the tournament.
In the championship game, the Nicholls State A team jumped out to an early 2-0 lead. In the bottom of the second inning, Southwest Texas Alums got their “gorilla ball “ tactics working and chalked up five runs to take a 5-2 lead. The Nicholls A team fired right back in the top of the third inning as they added another run and then loaded the bases. Mitchell Folse then hit a grand slam homer over the right field 300 foot fence to jump Nicholls A team ahead 7-5. A solo home run by Southwest Texas in the bottom of the third closed the score to 7-6. Neither team could muster a run in the fourth inning as both squads played flawless defense. The Southwest Texas Alums scored two in the fifth inning to take a 8-7 lead highlighted by Marcus Smith’s home run. In the top of the sixth, Nicholls had runners at first and third base with one out and hit into a double play which denied the tying run. In the bottom of the sixth inning, Southwest Texas added an insurance run to extend the lead to 9-7. In their last at bat the Nicholls State A team could not get any runners on base as Southwest Texas Alums’ defense preserved the 9-7 victory and repeat as SAE World Series champions. This would be the third Southwest Texas Alums championship in a row and seventh overall. Southwest Texas Alums players Eric Keller and Luis Rodrigues were named tournament co-MVPs for their consistent hitting throughout the tournament.
After the finals, all teams converged at the post tournament banquet and party in the historic French Quarter to celebrate 29 years of softball and fun and the brotherhood of SAE. The New Orleans SAE Alumni Association has successfully hosted the event since it’s inception in 1986.