Gonzales Nationals 12U All-Stars finish district runner-up

John Dupont
The Gonzales Nationals 12-U All-Stars took the runner-up spot in the District 6 championship tournament Tuesday night at Tee-Joe Gonzales Park. (Photo courtesy of Deanna Salvadras)

The Gonzales Nationals 12U team finished District 6 runner-up after an extra-inning heartbreaker against Franklinton in the championship game late Tuesday.

The runner-up spot sent the Friday to Alexandria on Friday for North Division regional action competition.

The Franklinton Americans edged Gonzales 6-5 in seven innings to win the tournament championship at Tee-Joe Gonzales Park.

The Nationals head Friday to Alexandria for the Dixie League North Division State Tournament.

Franklinton will compete this weekend in the Southern Division Tournament in Ponchatoula.

Franklinton reached the championship round on after drawing a bye Monday night.

Gonzales defeated Ponchatoula 11-6 -- the team's only loss of the tourney -- to reach the championship finals, which took place less than 45 minutes later.

In the title game, Dustin Miller scored three runs -- including the game-winning score in the seventh -- to deny Gonzales the championship.

Gonzales attempted another tie when Slade Laney singled with one out in the bottom of the seventh. A strikeout and ground-out to shortstop stranded Lane and anded the game.

A Jared Jenkins run in the top of the first gave Franklinton the opening advantage.

Gonzales took the lead later in the inning  when Blayson Fife doubled home Nick Milano.

Fife and Carson Rickard reached home on a Slade Laney two-bagger to put Gonzales ahead 3-1 at the end of the first.

A Dustin Miller run in the second cut into the Gonzales lead.

A Caleb Rome run in the fourth put Gonzales further ahead of Franklinton.

Franklinton took a one-run lead off runs by Miller, Trace Ballard and Jard Stafford in the top of the fifth.

A Rickard run in the bottom of the fifth propelled Gonzales back into the lead.

GONZALES 11, PONCHATOULA 4 -- A six-run rally in the top of the sixth staved off previously-unbeaten Ponchatoula for a spot in the championship game.

Milano (Milano) and Rickard each scored two runs to help lead the Nationals.

Milano also struck out  the last two Ponchatoula batters to bag the win for the Naitonals.

Milano scored his first run in the opening frame and added another in the third. Rickard, K'von DeLone and Beau Salvadras scored to give the Nationals a 5-0 advantage.

Ponchatoula, proving why they went undefeated the first three games, responded with four runs to cut their deficit to one run. The foes from Tanghipahoa struck out three Gonzales batters to hold down the Nationals.

The Nationals powered back in top of the sixth wiht runs by Rickard, Delone, Slade Laney, Tristan Harrison, Ryan Groh and Dane Smiley.