SHREVEPORT -- Despite the valiant effort, the Ville Platte Dixie Youth 7U Coach Pitch All-Stars came up just one game short of making it to the World Series, as they placed third in the State Tournament this past weekend.
Ville Platte, winners of the District 7 Tournament, finished state tourney play with an overall record of 4-3. And, according to head coach David Lahaye, even though his team did not earn the state title, his team played like champions.
“We played some tremendous baseball this past weekend,” stated Lahaye. “The kids battled the entire time and did not quit. I am so proud of the way they handled themselves throughout the tournament and the season. This was a learning experience for all of us, especially since this was the first year for the 7U All-Stars.”
“I think the kids learned a lot and they got some valuable playing time,” Lahaye continued. “I know I had fun coaching this group. I just want to thank the parents and the people that supported us. It was great being able to have some great parents and fans. I also want to thank my assistant coaches, Davis Jones, Jr., Andrew Payne and Ross Brunet. They did an amazing job with the kids and were an important part of this summer.”
Ville Platte began play on Thursday with a 10-1 loss to Sabine American in a pool play game. The All-Stars turned right around and defeated Shreveport American 14-3 in their second pool play game, evening their record in the tournament.
Ville Platte started the bracket play on the right foot by pounding Grant 14-3. In that game, the All-Stars jumped out to an early 4-1 lead after one inning of play. Ville Platte scored three more in the third, one in the fifth and three in sixth to seal the win.
The next bracket game pitted the All-Stars against arguably the best team in the tournament, Ruston. The talented Lincoln Parish team showed why they were touted a team to beat as they took a 13-1 win over Ville Platte.
Falling into the loser’s bracket, the All-Stars found themselves with their backs to the wall. However, Ville Platte responded in a resounding way, crushing Alexandria 17-0 in the ensuing contest.
The All-Stars rekindled the offense from their previous two wins, scoring five runs in the first, seven runs in the second and five more runs in the third to cap off the run-rule win.
With elimination still on the minds of the Evangeline Parish club, Ville Platte looked as if they might not make it through the next bracket game. The All-Stars trailed West Monroe 3-0 after three and a half innings of play. Nevertheless, Ville Platte found a way to get things going at the plate, plating seven runs in the fourth and three more runs in the fifth to score a 10-5 win over West Monroe and advance on.
The final contest of the tournament turned out to be the most thrilling for the All-Stars. In that game, Ville Platte did not let any intimidation factor come into play, as they took Ruston to extra innings.
The All-Stars, trailing 3-2 after three innings of play, tied the game up in the sixth. Unfortunately for Ville Platte, Ruston was able to pick up a single run in the seventh frame to take a hard fought 4-3 win over the All-Stars.