Baseball: St. Bede, L-P making spring trips to Tennessee

Bruins to play at USA Stadium in Millington, Tennessee

The St. Bede Bruins arrived in Dyersburg, Tenn. to play the first of three games in the Volunteer State.

The St. Bede and La Salle-Peru baseball teams are heading south to play baseball this week, hopeful to find some more favorable weather than at home.

St. Bede made a stop in Belleville on Monday on their way to Tennessee.

Monday’s game against Gateway Legacy Christian Academy of Florissant, Missouri, was on the campus of Southwestern Illinois College, hosted by Blue Storm coach Dave Garcia. He is an an old baseball buddy of St. Bede coach Bill Booker’s and former head coach at Putnam County High School and Parkland College.

The Bruins headed south Tuesday morning to play in Dyersburg, Tennessee, with the JV starting at 4:30 p.m. followed by the varsity at 6:30 p.m.

On Wednesday, St. Bede will play Strayhorn, Mississippi, at USA Stadium in Millington, Tennessee, the former home of the USA Olympic Team, at 6 p.m. Booker previously took the Bruins to play at USA Stadium in 2016 and La Salle-Peru in 2012.

St. Bede's Aiden Mullane slides safely into second as Indian Creek's Tyler Bogle misses the throw on Thursday, March 28, 2024 at St. Bede Academy.

Thursday will send the Bruins to Cordova, Tennessee, to wrap up their southern swing.

“This is the third time I’ve taken this trip to USA Stadium, and will not only get to see buddy Dave Garcia’s set up at SWIC, but I also get to visit with another great baseball friend by the name of Johnny Ray. He’s the man that secured our Tennessee opponents every time we traveled here,” Booker said.

Booker said the best thing about the trip for the team from a baseball aspect is that the Bruins will “get to experience competition from the entire Midwest and get to have some fun doing it.”

There will be more than just baseball games for the Bruins, who will get to sample some of Memphis’ fine Southern dining, make a stop at St Jude’s Children’s Hospital and see Elvis Presley’s old stomping grounds.

“Our itinerary consists, of course, of priority one baseball, but also a trip by St Jude’s Children’s Hospital, BassPro, Graceland and of course southern fried chicken & BBQ,” Booker said.

The St. Bede coach said Thursday’s BBQ dinner will be compliments of the Knoblauch family in honor of their son, Evan, the late Bruins captain who passed away on July 10, 2019, at age 20 from Ewing’s Sarcoma, and “the fun he had on this trip back in 2016.”

St. Bede will head home after Thursday’s game but make a side trip to Clinton, Iowa, to play East Dubuque at LumberKing Stadium at 10 a.m. Saturday.

La Salle-Peru will make a similar trip to play four games in Tennessee this week. They left early Tuesday morning to travel to the Knoxville area to participate in the ETBCA Tournament.

The Cavs will open at 1 p.m. Wednesday against Boyle County, Kentucky, at Anderson County High School.

L-P's Brady Romagnoli reacts with teammate Brevyn Vogel after scoring against Alleman on Tuesday, March 12, 2024 at the L-P Athletic Complex in La Salle.

Their remaining schedule will be:

2 p.m. Thursday vs. Powell High School in Powell, Tennessee

6 p.m. Friday vs. Bearden High School in Bearden, Tennessee

10 a.m. Saturday vs. Cookesville (Tennessee) High School at Anderson County High School

Cavs coach Matt Glupczynski said the Cavs are really looking forward to the trip.

“We have never made a trip like this. The best part is the team bonding and competition,” he said. “We are really excited to see where we measure up as a team against some teams from the south.

“We are supposed to get a tour of University of Tennessee baseball facilities on Friday morning, which the kids are really excited about as well.”

L-P will return home to host Kaneland at the L-P Complex on Monday.