All-Stars on a roll heading into state tournament

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 21, 1999

MICHAEL KIRAL / L’Observateur / July 21, 1999

LAPLACE – It’s hard to pinpoint the main ingredient for the success that the NOAH 11-12 All-Stars are having this season.

Is it the hitting? The All-Stars launched 10 home runs and collected 27 hits in a 27-0 victory over Baker Friday night for the District II championship and have scored 92 runs in their four postseason games.

Kendall Diggs leads the team in hitting with a .706 average while TimothyByrd has a .571 average and a .824 on-base percentage.”I have never been around a team that hits the ball the way these kids hit it,” manager Timmy Byrd said.

Or is it the pitching? The All-Stars have given up one run through the four games and have shut out their last three opponents. Alex McCollum and A.J.Delaneuville have combined to allow two hits and two walks in the last nine innings while striking out 16 batters. McCollum shut out Bogalusa inthe Area II title game two weeks ago on a one-hitter.

“We’re pretty strong in every phase of the game,” Byrd said. “We have gooddepth on the mound and they are getting good defense behind them, also.

The competition is going to get a lot better in state and pitching will be the key.”Whatever the reason for the team’s success, the All-Stars have enjoyed one of the most successful runs in the team’s history. NOAH is heading tothe Little League Baseball Louisiana State Tournament this weekend in Lafayette. The All-Stars’ first game in the double elimination tournamentcomes Friday against North Shreveport, the District IV champion, at 7:30 p.m. The winner of that game plays the winner between South Lake Charles and Alexandria Saturday while the loser plays the loser of that game Sunday.

The state tournament is being hosted by Lafayette Little League and will continue through July 28. The winner advances to the regional competitionin St. Petersburg, Fla. From there, its on to everybody’s goal as theregional winner represents the United States South in the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pa.

NOAH advanced to the state tournament with the victory over Baker, the Area I champions, in the District II Championship at Baker Friday night.

Lacorido Joseph blasted three out of the park and Ricky Johnson hit two home runs, including a grand slam. Others with home runs were RolandRicca, Jarvis Sanders, Casey Robottom and Jamal Breaux.

NOAH swept through the Area II tournament held at NOAH two weeks ago.

NOAH opened the tournament with a 39-1 victory over Champ Cooper before sweeping Bogalusa, 16-0 and 10-0 for the championship.

Byrd said he knows the competition is going to get tougher in state but that he likes his team’s chances.

“We have our work cut out for us,” Byrd said. “The kids have to come readyto play. We have to play defense, get good pitching and be able to hit theirpitching. I think we will.”Team members are Jamal Breaux, Timothy Byrd, A.J. Delaneuville, KendallDiggs, Lee Haydel, Ricky Johnson, Lacorido Joseph, Alex McCollum, James Miceli, Roland Ricca, Casey Robottom, Jarvis Sanders and Greg Sentimore.

Assisting Byrd are A.J. Delaneuville and Matt Monica.

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