Former LSUS pitcher overcomes tragedy - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

Former LSUS pitcher overcomes tragedy; heads back to Spring Training

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BOSSIER PARISH, LA (KSLA) -

Former Benton high school pitcher, Logan Norris, remembers a time when life was simply baseball.

"Baseball was my sanctuary," said Norris, who went 19-6 in his high school career as a Tiger.

The right-handed pitcher went on to play at LSU Shreveport, but decided to hang up his cleats after two seasons.

"I was done and then Louisiana Empire opened up and I went to work for them and those kids brought the game back to me."

Norris spent his days teaching some of Shreveport-Bossier's up-and-coming baseball stars how to pitch. At night, he was playing summer league ball in Bossier City until he was discovered by major league scouts last July.

"I had a day at the ball park. I had 13 strikeouts, one hit, no runs, won the game...I got that phone call that Monday night and I broke down. It was something that was aching me that I wanted for so long. I finally had my chance to go."

Norris will return to Arizona for Spring Training in February as part of the Colorado Rockies farm system. Baseball has given this newlywed a second chance at life and this wasn't the first time Norris had been saved by the sport he loves.

"I always went to see him on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. And that Tuesday evening when I was supposed to be there, boom, he was gone."

On April 12, 2011 Logan's grandfather, Bill, and two of his grandfather's friends were found dead inside an appliance store on Barksdale Blvd. Norris said baseball practice ran late, which was why he didn't make it to the store that day, ultimately saving his life.

Bossier City police eventually arrested Gerald "Copperhead" Needham for the murders, but later dropped the charges. Needham remained in jail and was sentenced to 10 years in prison for an ammunitions charge in an unrelated incident.

No one has been arrested for the triple murder.

"I do believe that the right person that pulled the trigger is behind bars. At the same time, do I think that there's more people involved? Yes."

"What I don't understand is how three men in a known place in broad daylight get murdered at a busy intersection and nobody sees anything," Norris wonders.

Norris said his family will never have closer until everyone involved has to pay for that happened to his grandfather. Four days after his grandfather's death, Norris earned his first college win, but then life threw him another curve ball. He was placed on academic probation at LSUS and the game he loved was taken away.

"There was definitely a long road of at least a year and a half where I didn't take care of myself.

Norris turned to Learning RX to get his grades and his mind back on track. After that he became one of the most dominant pitchers on the Pilot's staff.

Yet still Norris continues to think about how proud his grandfather would be of his accomplishments.

"My grandfather would definitely be smiling ear to ear."

Saturday, February 22, Norris and his wife will host a charity tournament at Benton Sports Complex to benefit Maddie Jo who suffers from cystic fibrosis. Contact Britney at britneyreed12@yahoo.com for more information.

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