Ville Platte T-Ball All-Stars advance on at State Tourney
TIOGA -- The Ville Platte T-Ball All-Stars got off to a tremendous start at the Dixie Youth State Tournament beginning here on Thursday afternoon, as they rolled past all three of their pool play opponents to advance on to the championship bracket.
If Ville Platte can win two games in the bracket, they will advance to the World Series to be held in Center, Texas, starting on July 20. This would be the first time in Ville Platte Dixie Youth history that a T-Ball All-Star team makes it to the World Series.
Ville Platte was scheduled to begin bracket play on Saturday as they faced off against Alexandria. The Gazette will have full coverage of those bracket games in Thursday’s edition.
“Right now we are playing as well as we have ever played this season,” stated head coach David Lahaye. “We are just hoping that we can come out and continue playing that way in the bracket games. We started a little rusty in our first pool game, but we were able to pull it together and come up with some big wins.”
“I think what happened at first was that the infield was really hard and the ball bounced funny,” Lahaye continued. “But, once it rained a little it slowed the ball down enough for our defense to make some great plays. Our hitting has been tremendous so far this tournament. If we can get another two wins under our belt here and make it to the World Series, our team and our fan base would be so ecstatic.”
In the first pool game, Ville Platte did not hesitate on offense one bit scoring seven runs in all four innings of play as they put away Blanchard 28-17.
The two teams each scored seven runs in the first inning of play. Ville Platte’s runs came as the first seven batters, Kindez Doucet, Deion Jones, Darran Dardeau, William Brunet, Darwin Lewis and William Joubert all crossed home plate.
Blanchard added three more runs in the second inning, but was not even close to Ville Platte’s seven runs picked up that same inning. Adding their names to those that were able to score for the All-Stars were Jayce Herbert, Riley Fontenot and Jules Bischoff.
Blanchard managed three more runs in the third inning. However, Ville Platte kept the bats blazing, gathering another seven runs in the inning. In that at bat, Nicholas Drago and Beckett Lahaye scored, ensuring all 12 of the All-Stars crossing the plate in the contest.
The game finished out with Blanchard adding their final three runs and Ville Platte matching the previous innings with seven more runs.
In the second pool game, the All-Stars continued to excel at the plate as they blasted past Sabine 19-9.
Sabine jumped out on top early in the game, scoring four runs in the top of the first inning. Ville Platte would answer in a huge way, as they blew up the scoreboard with seven runs of their own.
The All-Stars were able to hold Sabine scoreless in the top of the second. Ville Platte came back and tacked on five more runs in the bottom half of the inning to increase their lead to 12-4.
Sabine collected another five runs in the top of the third to cut the advantage down to three runs. But, not letting the game slip away, the All-Stars hung up another seven runs in the bottom of the third to pull back up on top by 10. Ville Platte then proceeded to bland Sabine in the top of the fourth to secure the run-rule win.
In the third and final pool game of the tournament, the All-Stars faced a familiar opponent in Vernon Central, a team they had seen in sub-district and district competition. That fact did not matter to Ville Platte as they cruised past Vernon Central in a 20-7 win.
Again, despite their opponent taking a quick 4-0 lead to start the game, the Ville Platte offense continued to find its stride, as the All-Stars took control of the game by plating seven runs in the bottom half of the inning.
Vernon Central added three more runs in the top of the second. Ville Platte answered that with six runs of their own to pull even farther away.
A 7-0 advantage in the third inning, gave the All-Stars a substantial 20-7 lead, a lead they would keep as they held Vernon Central scoreless in the top of the fourth.