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Concordida 12s clinch state tourney berth with win

MANGHAM, La. — For four innings, the Concordia Dixie Youth 12-year-old All-Stars were matched up in a pitcher’s duel with Monroe Nationals.

But all it took was a three-run home run from Drake Bergeron to get Concordia’s bats fired up, as they scored 14 runs in the final two innings of a 17-3 win in a district tournament elimination game.

“These kids remind me of the LSU team from a few years ago,” Concordia coach Whest Shirley said. “If somebody hits a home run, it’s on man.”

Concordia clinched a state tournament berth with the win, thanks to Morehouse’s victory over Rayville later Thursday.

The top two teams in the district clinch state tournament berths, and Morehouse and Concordia are the only two teams left in the tournament.

Concordia has to beat Morehouse twice today to win the tournament, since Morehouse is undefeated and Concordia has one loss. The first game is at 6 p.m.

“I told the kids before we broke the huddle after the game to plan on coming out (tonight) and beating Morehouse twice,” Shirley said.

But for four innings on Thursday, it looked as if Concordia might not get a chance to play for the district title.

Monroe Nationals looked to have the momentum after scoring two runs in the bottom of the fourth inning to tie the game 3-3.

However, Concordia exploded for eight runs in the top of the fifth, with the spark being lit by Bergeron’s three-run blast.

“That home run sent a strong message,” Shirley said. “It really got the kids pumped up.”

Concordia scored six more runs in the top of the sixth, with three of those runs coming on a home run by Cole Cangemi.

The game was called after that inning due to the 10-run mercy rule.

Bergeron and Cangemi also had doubles in the game while Chandler Grayson also hit a double.

Tyler Cothern, Jake Barlow, Grayson, Cangemi and Bergeron all had multiple hits for Concordia.

“We had 15 hits in the game, and almost everybody had at least one hit,” Shirley said. “I’ve been saying that if we ever put it all together offensively, we’d be hard to beat. And the last two nights we’ve done that.”

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