East Central gets in final practices before tournament

Published 12:00 am Monday, September 5, 2005

VIDALIA, La. &045; The East Central Dixie Majors were supposed to have an intra-squad scrimmage Tuesday night in preparation for the state tournament coming up this weekend.

But even the best laid plans don’t always work out.

A morning storm, which dumped rain on an already drenched field, left the infield dirt a muddy mess. Head coach Leo Eliser spent about two hours dragging the field and trying to get it dry enough to play on without much success.

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Instead, the team resorted to some batting practice against live pitching in a simulated game &045; that is, no baserunning.

&uot;This practice game turned into just practice,&uot; Eliser said. &uot;But it’s a good chance for us to practice some hitting and all our pitchers to get good and warm.&uot;

Each of the team’s pitchers threw about 35 pitches to the hitters.

For East Central’s hitters, it was their first look at live pitching since the district tournament.

&uot;It’s a chance for us to hit off some live pitching,&uot; East Central’s Jacob Bonnette said. &uot;We haven’t seen it in a week.&uot;

The practice also let the East Central defense get in some work in specific situations &045; where to throw depending on the out count and where baserunners are.

&uot;We’re getting some work in on techniques and what to do in certain situations,&uot; Eliser said.

East Central finished second in last week’s district tournament to Franklin, getting one of the two berths in the state tournament up for grabs.

But the competition at the state tournament, beginning with a first-round game against Lafayette, should be much tougher.

&uot;It’s going to be some good competition up there,&uot; Bonnette said. &uot;All of those teams made it there for some reason. We have to just play our best, not have any errors and hit the ball.&uot;

Eliser said his team needs to worry about only one thing at the state tournament &045; not making mistakes.

&uot;I know people are getting tired of hearing me say it, but it’s just the little mistakes that are beating us,&uot; Eliser said. &uot;We should have beat Franklin, but a couple errors kill us.&uot;

East Central could use all the hitting practice. The team hasn’t hit up to its potential yet, Eliser said.

Huston Eliser, the team’s shortstop and Leo’s son, agreed.

&uot;One thing we need to do is hit. Nobody on this team has hit like they can yet,&uot; Huston said.

&uot;I’m sure if we would hit nobody, not Franklin, would have been any problem.

Leo Eliser said the one thing he’s always happy about with this team is the attitude of the players.

&uot;These kids are real energetic,&uot; Eliser said. &uot;We practiced last week and I told them to take the weekend off, but I had a bunch of them call me Sunday to come out and hit in the cages. We had seven guys out here Sunday.&uot;

&uot;They want to play. It’s fun to see kids who are energetic and want to play. A lot of these kids worked today until 5:30 and some of them had football practice until 6:30 but they still show up and want to work.&uot;

Those players should have at least one more reason to feel good about heading up to state &045; new uniforms.

&uot;We had a little money left over in the league, so we got new uniforms for them &045; white with red writing to go with our red with white writing,&uot; Leo Eliser said.

Look out, Louisiana. East Central’s all dressed up with a state tournament to go to.