The Ville Platte Pony League All-Stars had a great run in 2008. They won their district, placed second at the section tournament and placed third in the regional. They battled some very tough teams in the regional tournament, which took place in Kingwood, Texas. The VP boys were defeated late Sunday and eliminated by Port Neches City, Texas. They played some very good baseball at the event, but came up short of their goal of winning the regional and advancing to the zone tournament.
Ville Platte and Port Neches City (PNC) battled after Ville Platte had fallen to Jefferson Parish. It was a must-win game for both teams. Ville Platte sent Caleb Michael Fontenot to the mound. His offense put up three runs for him in their first trip to the plate. One hit, a wild pitch and a sacrifice fly from Eddie Ortego helped the boys in blue and white go up 3-0 on their opponent.
Fontenot managed to hold Port Neches down for two innings. However the Texas-based team cut the lead down in the bottom of the third inning. With two outs, a walk and fielder’s choice put PNC in business. A single would bring one run home. A few pitches later, another single made it 3-2. Ville Platte saw their lead fall to just a run with a lot of baseball to play.
In the top of the fourth inning, Matt Manuel led off the inning with a single up the middle. However, Ville Platte could not get Manuel into scoring position with the top of the line-up coming to the plate. PNC would seize the momentum and take advantage of the missed opportunity.
With two outs, back-to-back walks brought the top of the line-up to the plate for the home team. The next batter was hit by a pitch, loading up the bases. Brody Bonnette was brought in the game to pitch for VP. A walk and a wild pitch allowed two runners to come home, giving PNC its first lead of the game. It would be a lead they would not relinquish.
The local boys could not heat up their cold bats in the top of the fifth inning. Once again, PNC took advantage of the situation. After a leadoff single, the PNC team brought out its short game. They stole second base and bunted the run over to third base. Nick Firmin was brought in the game to pitch for Ville Platte. A single brought one run home, making it a 5-3 ball game. After another stolen base, an error put runners on the corners for Port Neches City. The sixth run of the ball game came home on a wild pitch.
Down 6-3, the Ville Platte boys were not able to wake up in the top of the sixth frame. PNC played some very good defense and forced three-up and three-down in the inning. Then, the Texas boys grabbed an insurance run. Once again with two outs a single started the rally. Port Neches City executed a hit-and-run play perfectly and brought the run all the way home.
With the score 7-3, Ville Platte went down in one-two-three order. The local boys were eliminated, while PNC went on to play Jefferson Parish in the finals the next day. They would have to defeat Jefferson Parish twice in order to advance to the zone tournament.
Ville Platte had fallen earlier in the day to Jefferson Parish by a score of 12-1. No stats were available for that contest.
Congratulations on a great season Ville Platte Pony League All-Stars.