Concordia 9s look for offense

Published 12:01 am Friday, July 12, 2013

VIDALIA — The Concordia Dixie Youth 9-year-old All-Stars will need a little more production from their bats beginning tonight.

That was head coach Wayne Harveston’s assessment of his team as the 9s gear up for their state tournament appearance in Pineville tonight. Concordia is set to play the host team, the Pineville 9-year-old All-Stars, at 6 p.m., and Harveston said he needs to see more from his offense.

“I feel good,” Harveston said. “Our bats need to come a little bit more alive. We didn’t hit like we needed to in the district tournament last weekend, but we did hit enough to get by. Our pitching was really good, and I feel really confident. Our bats just need to wake up a little bit if we’re going to do anything.”

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Concordia won its opening two games of the district tournament last weekend before falling to Moorehouse in Game 3. They then lost to eventual district champion Monroe, 15-3.

Though everyone was the same age at the district tournament, Harveston said he got the sense that his players were a bit intimidated by the Monroe players, who were bigger in stature.

“I think they thought, ‘There ain’t no way we can beat these guys,’” Harveston said. “They would get up there and get nervous and not put their eye on the ball like they needed to. But we’ve practiced every day this week, and I have a good feeling we ought to do well over there.”

Pitching will continue to be critical for the 9s, Harveston said, and he expects to rely heavily on starters Preston Higgin and Xander Harveston.

“We still have three more strong pitchers behind them, and every one of them pitches a little differently,” Harveston said. “It depends on the situation. (Our starters) throw really hard for their age, and the others kind of slow it down. When you’re used to seeing a faster pitching and then a slower guy gets in, it’s like in the majors when a guy throws a fastball and then throws a changeup.”