Concordia teams both lose in semifinals of regional tourney
Vidalia — A late-game rally wasn’t enough for the Concordia 9- and 10-year-old All-Stars to advance to the championship game from the losers’ bracket.
The Concordia 9s were eliminated by district foe the Winnsboro Nationals Monday 9-5.
Payton Fort went 2-for-3 with an infield home run, a double and an RBI. Fort also had five strikeouts as pitcher. Cody Brown and Caleb Smith both went 2-for-3 with two doubles and Eli Brown recorded two doubles as he went 2-for-3.
The first inning started smoothly for Concordia as Fort set the tone with an infield home run to take the early 1-0 lead.
Winnsboro answered back quickly with Caden Richmond sliding home on a wild pitch from Fort.
Concordia failed to add on to their score in the second inning, but Winnsboro added three more runs. With the bases loaded, Michael Easterling tripled to centerfield to bring home Gabe Cloessner, Cameron Williamson and Caleb Hill to take the lead 4-1.
Winnsboro fed off that momentum as they went to the outfield in the top of the third and never allowed Concordia to see first base.
Concordia returned the favor as they turned up their defense and didn’t allow any runs in the bottom of the third.
But despite the defensive effort, Concordia couldn’t stir up any offense in the top of the fourth.
“The pitcher they had pitched a little slower than our guys are used to hitting against, and we had to try to adjust,” Concordia head coach Shaun McDonald said.
In the bottom of the fourth, Winnsboro scored three more runs.
Richmond stepped up to the plate and double to left field and drove in Hill and Cloessner for the 6-1 lead. Richmond then scored two plays later as he stole home on a wild pitch.
Winnsboro scored once more when Michael Easterling singled to bring home Chandler Easterling.
With Concordia down seven runs in the top of the fifth, they refused to give up as their bats finally saw some life.
The comeback attempt was fueled by Drew Brown’s triple that allowed Eli Brown to touch home plate.
Winnsboro changed their pitcher to Chase Sortin before Concordia scored three more runs.
Blake Tarver singled to centerfield to bring in Drew Brown. Then Fort tripled to left field, which allowed Sam Mosby to score. Moments later, Tarver slid home after taking a chance on a wild pitch.
Concordia went into the bottom for the fifth and only allowed one run by Richmond off of Chandler Easterling’s single.
The fifth inning ended 9-5, and thanks to the momentum Concordia suddenly obtained, the game was still in reach with one more inning to play.
But Concordia couldn’t capitalize on their late-game energy as they failed to score any more runs to end their Dixie Youth season as fourth place in the regional state tournament.
McDonald said he was proud of his team and their efforts throughout the game.
“We stayed with it and stayed positive and they finally got it together (in the fifth), but it was too late,” McDonald said.
Though they were eliminated from the tournament, McDonald said the Concordia 9s season still isn’t over.
“We’ll take a few weeks off and then we’ll start travel ball in a month,” McDonald said.
Ville Platte All-Stars 3, Concordia 11 and 12s 0
VIDALIA — The same team that defeated the Concordia 11- and 12-year-old All-Stars last Friday in the opening round of the North Regional State Tournament did so again Monday afternoon.
The Ville Platte All-Stars used solid pitching and just enough timely hitting to defeat the Concordia 11-12s 3-0 to give the home team their second loss and, therefore, eliminated them from the tournament.
“They had a pitcher that threw a curveball, and we couldn’t get it,” Concordia 11-12s head coach Rusty Smith said. “We only had three hits in the game. Our bats didn’t work.”
Braxton Hall, Jonathan Burr and Addison Curtis each had a single for the team’s only base hits. Caden Poole took the loss after going three innings after Ville Platte took the lead when he was on the mound. Trey Poole went one inning and Drake Smith pitched the final two innings.
Smith said he was pleased with the way his team bounced back after a heartbreaking 5-4 loss to Ville Platte three days earlier with a pair of hard-fought wins.
“We had the opening-day loss and came back with two wins, including the 10-inning win (Sunday afternoon),” Smith said. “We just ran into some good pitching.”