LEESVILLE -- If there were a recipe for winning a district title, the Ville Platte Dixie Youth Major All-Stars would definitely be culinary geniuses.
All they did this past weekend was mix in a ton of great pitching, a boatload of tremendous defense and sprinkled in some timely hitting to cook up a District 7 title.
With their 2-0 win over Mamou in the championship game on Monday afternoon, Ville Platte secured themselves one of the top seeds in the regional tournament that begins in Shreveport a week from today.
After the tournament, head coach John Pitre praised his team’s effort.
“This is definitely a good feeling,” stated Pitre. “Overall this was a group effort. All twelve of our players contributed to this championship. It has been a tremendous experience. The fan base is so supportive. I just feel like we are on a mission.”
“Our pitching and our defense were superb all tournament long,” Pitre continued. “But, that is pretty much what I expected. What was great was the timely hitting we got throughout the tournament. One thing is that we did not leave a lot of runners on the bags. If we continue hitting the ball in key situations we will be okay.”
After taking down Oakdale and Pine Prairie on Thursday and Friday, Ville Platte found themselves two wins away from the championship game. On Saturday, the All-Stars took one step closer toward that goal as they blew past parish rival Mamou, 11-1.
Ville Platte took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first when Ike Perry and Wade Pitre both singled and scored. The All-Stars added two more runs in the bottom of the second as Gavin Soileau and Parker Feucht each touched home plate.
Ville Platte went up 6-0 after the third inning of play as Perry and John Michael Duplechin each reached the plate. Mamou scored their only run of the game in the top of the fourth to cut the lead down to five.
Ville Platte put the game away in the bottom of the fourth, driving home five more runs. Doubles by Hayden Droddy and Hayden Deshotel helped contribute to the run-rule win.
On Sunday, Ville Platte faced Oakdale for the second time in the tournament. The All-Stars did not pull any punches against the Allen parish crew, blasting Oakdale in another 11-1 run-rule win.
Oakdale struck first, picking up a solo run in the top of the first. However, Ville Platte went off on their opponent in the bottom half of the inning, scoring eight runs. Five players garnered hits in the inning, including back-to-back doubles by Landon LeBlanc and Deshotels.
Solo runs came across the plate for Ville Platte in the second and third and fifth innings, as Perry touched home once and Bastian Veillon scored twice. With the run in the bottom of the fifth, the All-Stars were now in the championship game and held all of the cards, as they would have to be beaten twice to surrender the title.
On Monday, Ville Platte needed only one win to secure the district championship and had to face a familiar opponent in Mamou to do so. This time the game would be a tad closer, but the boys in blue would find a way to pull out the 2-0 win and take home the championship trophy.
Ville Platte would send nine of the first twelve Mamou batters back to the dugout and allow only one runner on base in the final three at bats. The All-Stars secured the game in the top of the fifth inning, when Soileau and Feucht would reach the plate. The big hit in the inning, a triple by Feucht scored Soileau. One batter later, Feucht would come across to score on a single by Droddy.
“It is a long haul to get the chance to be a part of the World Series,” said Pitre. “This weekend we filled a missing piece with our hitting. Now we are headed to Shreveport for the regional tournament, but we still have a couple of things to work on. Our focus leading up to regionals will be on hitting the curve ball and the outside fastball. I know with the continued help from my two assistant coaches, Lucas Fontenot and Kevin Perry we will be ready to play come next Thursday.”