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Story Archives: Magical closing for Vidalia park
|Magical closing for Vidalia park|
It was what movies are made of. Except this was no movie.
On the night of Tuesday, July 10, the West Monroe All-Stars face Monroe Americans, while Morehouse Parish All-Stars faced Monroe Nationals as the final four teams of the Dixie Youth District 5 10-year-old Tournament being played in Vidalia.
It would end up being the final two games ever played at the aging Dixie Youth park. A new recreation complex is set to open in Vidalia early next year.
Rains would postpone play the rest of the week, so the final games would be moved to Monroe.
But what happened this night in Vidalia no one who witnessed it will ever forget.
In the first game, Morehouse faced Monroe Nationals.
Morehouse trailed Monroe 13-12 going into its final at-bat in the sixth inning. Morehouse tied the game at 13-13 before loading the bases with two outs and Brayden Spigner at the plate.
"I was thinking all we needed was a base hit to win this ballgame," said Morehouse coach Brian Rainbolt.
Spigner then hit the ball over the fence for a walk-off grand slam home run.
"I never had a game end like that," Rainbolt said. "That was pretty awesome.
Morehouse lost Bossier in the state semifinals 10-8.
In the final game at Vidalia, West Monroe, the lone undefeated team left in the tournament, took on Monroe Americans.
The two teams had met three times before, with Monroe blasting West Monroe in a game before all-star began, and then losing twice to Monroe at sub-district to finish second.
West Monroe beat Monroe 15-0
West Monroe coach David Trichel said the final game started out slow.
"They scored four runs in the first and we only managed about two through the first three or four," Trichel said.
Monroe led 4-2 going into the bottom o the sixth, the final inning.
"We had one out and the bases loaded," Trichel said.
Collin Robert came to the plate. Robert started out pitching for West Monroe, but Trichel pulled him, leaving him in the game as a batter.
"He wasn't one of our big hitters," Trichel said. "And he was down on himself because he didn't pitch real well. I preach to the kids all the time about attitude. But when he got up to hit, I saw he had gathered himself and was focused to at least hit the ball hard. I knew a decent hit would tie the game up. I honestly was thinking before the inning started about I had left to pitch for the next game and what we would do if we got the bye. But one base runner got on, then another got on and then another."
Facing an 0-2 count, Robert delivered his first home run, a walk-off grand slam in Vidalia.
"I have been coaching for three years and never heard of anything like that, Trichel said. "I told the kids they may play the rest of their career and never see or hear of two games back-to-back decided by walk-off grand slams. It was a magical night."
"That was really something else" said Vidalia Dixie Youth president Mike Bowlin. "And what made it even more special is that those were the last tournament games to ever be played at that park."
West Monroe won its first game at Regionals in Alexandria before losing its second game to Sabine Parish. West Monroe beat Tioga and Bossier, but fell to Sabine in the first championship game to finish second.
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