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Concordia 12s stay alive in district tournament

MANGHAM, La. — It took awhile, but the Concordia Parish 12-year-old Dixie Youth All-Stars finally hit the ball the way they are capable of Monday night.

Tyler Cothern went 3-for-4 and Cole Cangemi hit a grand slam to lead Concordia past West Carroll 12-5 in an elimination game at the Dixie Youth District tournament.

“This is the first night we can sleep a bit better because we finally hit the ball better tonight,” Concordia coach Whest Shirley said. “Maybe we’re coming around.”

With the win, Concordia stayed alive in the tournament and will face the loser of today’s game between Winnsboro and Monroe Nationals in another elimination game Wednesday night.

Shirley was hopeful that his team could continue the hot hitting it started on Monday.

“Maybe Wednesday we’ll tear loose,” Shirley said. “Hopefully things are looking up.”

The spark plug of Concordia’s offense was leadoff hitter Cothern.

In addition to his 3-for-4 night at the plate, Cothern also hit a solo home run.

“Tyler had a stellar performance,” Shirley said. “He’s our leadoff hitter and we expect him to get on base every time. He was on fire tonight.”

Concordia scored three runs in the first inning and two more in both the second and third innings to lead 7-2.

Any hopes West Carroll had of coming back in the game ended when Cangemi blasted an opposite-field grand slam in the top of the fourth inning to make the score 11-2.

“That grand slam kind of took the wind out of West Carroll’s sails,” Shirley said. “There was no doubt about it when it left the bat. Everybody in Mangham knew that it was well out of the park.”

In addition to the good hitting, Concordia also got good pitching performances from Cangemi, Pate Shirley and Jake Barlow, who pitched two innings each.

“That’s the way I like to pitch a tournament, two innings each,” Shirley said. “The rotation worked well tonight. They all did a great job keeping West Carroll off balance.”

In order for Concordia to keep winning and come out of the loser’s bracket, Shirley said they will have to keep pitching and hitting well.

“Hitting is contagious and we’re going to have to keep doing what we’re doing,” Shirley said. “We finally put together a solid game tonight.”

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