Concordia 12s set to battle

Published 12:09 am Friday, July 13, 2012

vidalia — The Concordia Parish 12-year-old Dixie Youth All-Star team ran into some bad weather last weekend that dampened the team’s normally powerful bats against Pineville.

“We were runner up in the district,” head coach Jamie Lancaster said. “We came out flat with hitting, and we are usually very strong at the plate. Our bats were kind of cold in the rainy conditions. I don’t want to make excuses, but usually if we hold a team to six runs, we win the game.”

Concordia lost the game 6-2, but the sun came out for game 2 against Grant Parish, and the team found its stride on offense and won 15-0. That win qualified the team for the state tournament in Haughton, La.

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With possible bad weather on the horizon this weekend, Lancaster had his team out taking batting practice in the rain Wednesday night to prepare for the state tournament.

“I did that on purpose,” he said. “I knew it was raining, but there was no lightning. We played the game against Pineville in the rain, and I wanted them to stay focused and hit the ball (in the rain).”

Lancaster said the 12s were disappointed they did not win district, but they are excited about going to state.

“This group went to state as 9-year-olds, but they haven’t been back until this year,” he said. “They are very excited. We’re focused on playing to our potential, having fun and enjoying the experience.”

With his team’s ability to get hot at the plate, Lancaster said he thinks they can make some noise at state.

“Historically this group of boys are very strong at the plate,” he said. “If we hit the ball hard and put it in play, and we can find some gaps at the right times, we can hang with anybody in the state.”

Lancaster said he has been very pleased with his pitching staff this summer as well.

Concordia expects to face some tough competition in the state tournament, and Lancaster said he thinks they may have drawn one of the toughest teams first.

“I don’t know much about the guys we will be playing,” he said. “Shreveport looks very strong. We play Shreveport (today).”

Lancaster said his team does not care who they play if they play up to their potential.

“We just want to stay focused on what we’re capable of doing,” he said. “We feel very confident in our pitchers, and the majority of our team are experienced tournament players.”

The Concordia 12s are scheduled to face Shreveport in the first game at 12:30 p.m. today.