W. Monroe pulls away from Vidalia

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 17, 2004

DELHI, La. &045; Thanks to a new tournament format at the state tournament in Louisiana Dixie Youth, Vidalia’s Minor League All-Stars have a new lease on life.

The All-Stars dropped a 14-1 decision to West Monroe Thursday in the finals of the district tournament, but the loss didn’t end the season. As the runner-up from tournament, the All-Stars will travel to Gonzales to play in the South regional.

There the four runners-up from the North will match up against the four champs from the South. Vidalia will open that tournament on Friday.

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&uot;I’m not telling you we’re going to win state &045; the odds are against us &045; but we’re still playing for a state championship,&uot; Vidalia coach Tam Winston said. &uot;There are 16 teams left, and we’re lucky to be one of them. I’m proud of them, and I know we can play better than what we did.&uot;

West Monroe steamrolled through Vidalia and the district tournament as it needed just four innings on Thursday after opening with a 15-5 win over Vidalia. West Monroe put up seven runs in the first inning, two in the second and five in the third.

West Monroe got on Vidalia starter Lane Strong in the first inning and got a three-run homer from Dylan Burdeaux to highlight the rally. Strong left after 2/3 of an inning, and Dee Garrison pitched the rest of the way.

Vidalia had four errors in that first inning to keep the rally going and had problems in the field in the third.

Vidalia got its run in the third when Devin Barnes singled in Jacob Perry. But the All-Stars threatened in just about every inning, including a first inning when they had runners on second and third with no outs and failed to score.

&uot;That’s just the story of our life,&uot; Winston said.&160;&uot;We’ve left so many runners on base. There’s nothing we can do about it. The game was much closer than that.&uot;