State tournament run ends for three VSLL teams


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Luke Campbell delivers a pitch for the Viera-Suntree Little League 9-11 All-Stars. The team won district and section titles and reached the state semifinals.

VIERA VOICE Carl Kotala

The Viera-Suntree Little League showed once again it’s among the top leagues in Brevard County this All-Star season.

The VSLL had three teams win both district and sectional titles to advance to the state tournament.

One of those teams — Seniors baseball — reached the state championship game while the 8-10 softball and 9-11 baseball teams got to the state semifinals.

The Seniors baseball team went to Fort Braden and defeated San Mateo 12-2, Hancock 10-3 and St. Cloud 4-3 to get out of pool play. The team played North Springs in the title game, but wound up losing 18-2.

Members of the team include: Bill Moser; Carson Janssen; Brady Janssen; Tyler Madl; Zach Taylor; Jackson Taylor; Christian Stubbendeck; Evan Blake; J.T. Smith; Joe Veltri; Eric Allen; Luke Brown; Caleb Smallwood; Nick Durgin; Thomas Kaye and Hunter Longtin.

After getting to last year’s state championship game, the VSLL 8-10 softball team was determined to make another run at the state title … and the girls nearly pulled it off.

Manager Eric Power’s team dominated district and section play to get back to the tournament and then won a couple of close games against Callahan 7-6 and Fort Myers 5-4, with the former being decided on Tori Berry’s inside-the-park home run.

The wins put the 8-10 softball team into the state semifinals in Land O’Lakes, where it lost to a powerhouse Windermere team 15-1.

Despite not getting to the title game, it was a heck of an accomplishment just getting back to the tournament for the players

“So proud of our team, to return to the state tournament with half the girls from last year and make it this far is amazing,” Power wrote in an email. “These girls are young and will continue on their athletic journey in this sport. Good news is half our team is league age 9, so they get to use this experience, come back next year and make another run for the 8-10 state title in 2018. They gave their all for our Viera Suntree community.”

Members of that 8-10 team include: Haley Rider; Riley Makousky; Shae Janke; Autumn Reynolds; Baylea Holland; Berry; Hayley Power; Alexis Miller; Ella Brand; Reagan Calabro; Kiera Runske; Taylor Holtz; Kaitlyn Farinhas and Kendall Mix.

Revenge was on the mind of the 9-11 VSLL baseball team after losing to Port St. Lucie in last year’s section final. That’s just what Viera-Suntree got, winning the Section 2 title to advance to the state tournament in DeLand.

Apollos Horrell homered twice in a 9-3 opening victory against Palm Coast and Luc Iten’s walk-off homer gave Viera-Suntree a 5-4 victory against Oviedo in the second game. That led to a semifinal game against Sarasota where the VSLL lost a heartbreaker, 8-7.

Horrell would finish the tournament with three home runs. Iten hit two home runs, and Luke Campbell and Jaden Mack also homered for the VSLL at the state tournament.

Other key members of the roster included: Lucas Glendinning; Cam Simpkins; Dylan Jordan; P.J. Befumo; Anthony Soehnlein; Nolan Taylor; Logan Keith; Bryson Weeks and James Baxter.

“I can’t express enough how proud I am of all these young men, who battled to the very end,” manager Travis Mack wrote in an email. “We created lifelong memories this summer and I am fortunate to be part of that memory.” VV

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