Concordia All-Stars register thrilling win

Published 12:17 am Sunday, July 3, 2016

Dixie Youth Concordia All-Stars 13-year-old coach Matthew Freeman said it was vital for his squad to get off to a strong start in the district tournament.

Mission accomplished.

Concordia scored single runs in the first and fifth innings en route to edging East Ouachita 2-1.

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With the win, Concordia slots into the winner’s bracket and will be off until Tuesday.

“That was huge for us,” Freeman said. “You get the win, and you get a couple of days rest — you get to enjoy the Fourth, go and have a little fun Sunday and Monday, then come back here Tuesday and get a chance for another win.”

Peyton Fort led Concordia from his pitcher post, as the lefty hurler tossed 6.1 strong innings, allowing just one earned run.

“He’s a really dominant 13-year-old pitcher,” Freeman said of his pitcher. “He’s one of the best in the area, especially being from the left side. He has control, and he’s able to command the strike zone.”

Fort struck out 10 batters and limited East Ouachita to just two hits.

“I was just focused on throwing strikes,” Fort said. “I rely on my defense to back me up, and they did that today.”

Fort was equally effective at the plate as he slugged a go-ahead RBI double in the bottom of the fifth that one-hopped up against the left field wall.

“I got that (pitch),” Fort said. “I thought it was going over (the fence), but I hit it too high.”

Rhet McDonald relieved Fort with one out in the seventh, and the bulky right-hander slammed the door with a pair of punchouts, pushing his squad into the winner’s bracket game Tuesday.

“We went out and competed the whole game,” Freeman said. “We had great focus, and that’s tough for 13-year-old boys to stay focused; baseball is a tough, mental sport.”