VSLL wins three district titles … two more possible


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Three district crowns, two more title games on tap for VSLL.

Viera Voice courtesy of the VSLL

The Viera/Suntree Little League is having yet another successful run in All-Star district tournament play.

The VSLL has captured three District 2 championships and has two more teams still in contention. The 11/12 baseball team goes for the championship tonight, while the Juniors baseball team will play for the title on Sunday. Both games are at Rodes Park.

The district champions will advance to sectionals, where they will compete for a spot in the state tournament.

Here is a look at the three championship district teams:

10/11 Baseball

Brett Anderson batted .600 with two home runs – including a grand slam – to go with six RBIs and five runs scored to help Viera go 2-0 in district play and then win the double-elimination bracket to take home the District 2 title.

Peter Petraco and Sean Rodney each batted .800 and had five and three RBIs respectively to help power a VSLL offense that batted over .500 as a team during the tournament.

Solid defensive play helped the pitching staff. Matthew Valdes got the win in the semifinals with three scoreless innings of no-hit ball. He walked one and struck out five as the VSLL won 15-1.

In an 8-3 championship game win over West Melbourne, Declan McDermott struck out eight in 5 2/3 innings and Liam Samuels came on to close it out.

The team will head to Port St. Lucie on Saturday, July 12, to compete in the Section 2 championships against the winners of District 7 and District 17.

11-12 Majors Softball

After seeing an 18-game winning streak ended by Palm Bay two weeks ago, the VSLL bounced back with three consecutive victories, including a 5-2 victory over Eau Gallie in the District 2 title game.

Makenzie Fearon helped the VSLL All-Stars bounce back from their loss to Palm Bay by throwing a perfect game in a five-inning, 10-0 victory over that same Palm Bay team.

Alyssa Tougas also came up big on the mound, striking out 18 in two victories against Eau Gallie. Kennedy Hewitt had a big championship game, going 3-for-3 at the plate with two doubles.

Madison Dooley and Taryn Aebli also came up big in clutch situations for the VSLL throughout the district tournament.

“The great attitudes and wanting to win this title are what got us this far,” manager Jenn Underwood wrote in an email. “I have never been so proud of this group because they have shown me how they can work together as a team.”

Next up is a doubleheader on Saturday, July 12, against the Sebastian Little League, beginning at 10 a.m.

9/10 Baseball (Gold team)

This VSLL team went undefeated in the tournament, but there was certainly plenty of drama.

After advancing to the elimination round – with help from a perfect game by Nathan Rao in a 12-0 win over Palm Bay West – the VSLL found itself trailing 5-0 against South Beaches. After rallying to tie the game with five runs in the bottom of the fifth, manager Andy Williams’ team found itself trailing again after South Beaches scored a run in the top of the seventh.

However, in the bottom of the seventh, Rao doubled, Cole Tepley was intentionally walked and … the rains came and postponed the game until the next day. That apparently didn’t bother batter Robbie Behrens, who hit a 1-2 pitch down the left-field line for a walk-off double and a 7-6 VSLL victory.

The championship game saw VSLL take a 4-0 lead into the bottom of the sixth before Eau Gallie tied it by scoring four runs with two outs. VSLL re-took the lead in the top of the seventh when Cole Hewatt reached on an infield single and eventually scored on a wild pitch. Josh Williams then came on to close out the 5-4 win with some big defensive help from second baseman Steven Klassen, who handled all three outs and even took away a potential base hit.

VSLL outscored its opponents 62-21 in the tournament and had a team batting average of .385 compared to its opponent’s .172 mark.

On the mound, Rao had two wins with 25 strikeouts and a 1.09 ERA in 11 innings. Tepley also had two withs with 15 strikeouts and a 1.13 ERA in 15 1/3 innings. Behrens had one win with six K’s in five innings while Nathan Scharff had a 2.40 ERA over five innings pitched. Hewatt also had a victory and Williams had a save and a 0.00 ERA in three innings.

At the plate, Hewatt batted .471 with nine runs scored and five RBIs; Behrens hit .364 with three doubles and a team-high 10 RBIs; Rao hit .421 with three doubles, nine RBIs and only one strikeout in 24 plate appearances; Tepley batted .467 with three doubles and five RBIs; Klassen hit .357 and tied Hewatt for the team lead with nine runs scored; Zion Hernandez batted .375 with five RBIs; Williams hit .333 with six RBIs; Justin Grove hit .333 with six runs scored and Michael Placyk and Dawson Leary each hit .571.

Next up are the Sectionals on Saturday, July 12, against the District 17 and 7 champions at Rodes Park.

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