NATCHITOCHES —The Minden National AA All-Stars completed their run in the AA State Tournament held in Natchitoches over the weekend.
The Nationals finished pool play with a record of three wins and two losses, finishing just one game out of continuing on to bracket play. During pool play, the Nationals beat the eventual State runner-up and fifth place teams. Their only two losses came at the hands of the top two seeds from their pool.
In their first game on Friday, the Nationals faced the Vernon National team and it was a match-up of the last two undefeated teams in the tournament. The game was scoreless into the fourth inning, but Vernon scored seven runs and went on to beat Minden, 10-0.
Brian Foster and Trent Walraven had the only two hits for the Nationals.
In the second game on Friday, the Minden Nationals won a close game over Vernon Central, 11-10.
Vernon jumped out with seven runs in the top of the first inning. The Nationals kept chipping away at the Vernon lead until they took a 9-8 lead in the bottom of the fifth inning.
But Vernon scored two more runs in the top of the sixth to take a 10-9 lead.
In the bottom of the sixth, Caid Thomas lined a one-out single to start the Nationals' rally. After an Jackson Powell reached on a fielder's choice, Hayden Brown reached on an error to put the winning run on first. With runners at first and second and two outs, Matthew Seales hit a single that scored Jackson Powell from second. Brian Foster followed with a single to load the bases. The next batter, Trent Walraven ripped a hit to score Brown with the winning run.
Walraven led the team with a triple and two singles. Keegan Frizzell added a double and two singles, while Brian Foster, Seth Johnson, and Caid Thomas had two singles each. Hayden Brown, Mathew Seales, Thomas Rhame and Xander Turner each singled.
In the 7 p.m. game Friday night. the Nationals faced Winnsboro (the eventual Pool A winner). Both teams entered the game with just one loss.
After a hard-fought game, the Nationals fell to Winnsboro, 12-9.
"They were a team of big boys and hit the ball well," Minden Nationals head coach Jim Bonsall said of Winnsboro. "But if the breaks had went the other way, the score could have favored the Nationals, but they didn't and we lost to a very good team."
Thomas Rhame lead the Nationals with a triple and a single and Keegan Frizzell had a double and a single. Hayden Brown, Trent Walraven and Corbin Kendrick had two singles each while Walker Wise and Seth Johnson added a single each.
The Nationals finished Friday's play with two wins and two losses but were not out of it yet.
"We had a slim chance to proceed to tournament play, we had to win our game with a good Jena team and the Vernon Nationals had to lose," Bonsall said.
The Nationals did what they had to do Saturday morning, as they beat Jena, 12-9. But the Vernon Nationals won their game and advanced, ending the Minden Nationals season.
Against Jena, Trent Walraven lead the way with three singles. Thomas Rhame had a triple and a single, Hayden Brown had a double and a single and Brian Foster recovered from his stomach virus from Friday to hit a double and a single. Xander Turner, Corbin Kendrick, Seth Johnson, Caid Thomas and Mathew Seales had two singles each. Keegan Frizzell had a triple and Walker Wise added a single.
The Minden Nationals , their coaches and their parents would like to thank all the local businesses for their financial support.
"The boys will remember this summer for a long time.," Bonsall said. "There were many parents, grandparents, and friends in attendance and we would also like to thank them for their unselfish support of the team. The coaches and Winky want the people of Minden to know these 12 boys represented Minden proudly and if you could have seen them you would be proud of them too."