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Louisville Slugger Warriors Win First Ever Celebrity Softball Game
Sept. 1, 2023
By Donna McGuire
Softball News Report
Carlo Adame wore a big grin on his face after his Louisville Slugger Warriors team defeated a Las Vegas celebrity-filled team during a special softball game at the Senior Softball USA World Championships.
Photos by Clover Schultz.
Sin City All-Stars and Louisville Slugger Warriors Together.
“I like playing with all the older guys,” said Adame, a U.S. Army veteran from Rolla, Missouri. “I’m 47. Playing with guys in their 50s and up is rewarding.”
Maybe he should join a Senior Softball USA team.
For now, however, Adame plays with the Warriors, a team of military veterans, active duty personnel, wounded veterans and former collegiate baseball player amputees. They travel the country playing ball — very successfully. They win roughly three of every four games, General Manager David Van Sleet said.
The Warriors have taken on SSUSA all-stars several times during the annual Tournament of Champions in Polk County, Florida. This time, their game provided one of the highlights of the opening session of the 2023 SSUSA World Championships, which began Sept. 14 at ballparks in and around Las Vegas.
The Warriors battled a team of celebrities that included former San Diego Padre Kevin Higgins, former MLB player with the San Diego Padres and UNLV Runnin’ Rebel Eric Gray, former Canadian Football League wide receiver Jimmy Sandusky, and three-time gold medalist Team USA pitcher Lori Harriman-Mack.
After a rousing National Anthem, sang by Kasey Kons of the Marilynds (photo below), the teams trotted onto the turf at the Fenway Park field at Big League Dreams park on Sept. 16.
In the top of the first inning, the Warriors plated five runs on six hits. After two innings, they led 10-4 and looked to be pulling away.
Then Edarian Williams, a former four-year starter for the University of Nevada-Las Vegas baseball team, blasted a towering three-run home run that soared high above the Green Monster. That pulled the Las Vegas Stars to within a run at 10-9.
“I wasn’t worried,” said one of the opponents, Lonnie Gaudet, a U.S. Army veteran from Brookfield, Missouri. “We had one bad inning. We just needed to get back to bat.”
In the top of the fifth, the Warriors did just that. Colton DeRocher, a college amputee player from Sioux City, Iowa, blasted a three-run home run to right-center field. An inning later, Gaudet launched his own three-run home run to centerfield.
By then, the Las Vegas Stars had too much ground to make up. They lost 22-11.
In this special game, the losers didn’t seem to mind.
“That was awesome,” said Higgins, who coached the Las Vegas Stars. “Playing with these guys? They’ve given everything for our country. It’s an absolute honor to play alongside them.”