Viera/Suntree Little League teams playoff progress
Only two Viera/Suntree Little League teams are still playing after this weekend’s All-Star playoff action … and one of them is going to the state tournament.
The VSLL Majors softball team won its sectional tournament and will head to Clearwater on Friday to play for the state championship beginning at 6 p.m.
Meanwhile, the Juniors baseball team is fresh off winning the District 2 championship – one of four won by the VSLL this season – and will begin its sectional play Saturday at Rodes Park in West Melbourne.
Two other VSLL district champions saw their seasons end at the sectional tournament.
Here is a quick look at what happened:
After pounding Sebastian River 10-0 in the first game, the VSLL was leading 12-0 after just three innings of the second game when the game was delayed for an hour by lightning. Instead of resuming action, however, Sebastian River forfeited and sent manager Jenn Underwood’s team onto the state tournament.
Alyssa Tougas threw a perfect game with 11 strikeouts in the first game, and after throwing the first inning of the second game, she was replaced by Makenzie Fearon.
At the plate, Taryn Aebli had a clutch hit to drive in the first run for the VSLL in the first game. After scoring eight runs in the fourth inning to make it 9-0, Kelsey Reiter hit a shot down the right-field line to score Megan Foster as the VSLL won by the 10-run rule in the bottom of the fifth.
In the second game, Reiter went 2-for-2 with a double, Madison Dooley went 2-for-2 with a triple and three RBIs, and Kennedy Hewitt went 2-for-3 with a double.
Led by the strong pitching of Connor Sheer and JT Santos, the VSLL won another district championship, defeating Eau Gallie 4-1 in the title game.
The VSLL pitching staff had an ERA of 0.85 throughout the tournament.
“We as coaches are very lucky to be surrounded by great kids from great families who can step up and do what the team needs done and put personal goals aside,” manager Jason Allen wrote in an email. “We work at believing in the ‘big team, little me’ concept and it’s gone very good so far.”
9/10 baseball (Gold team)
A pair of losses in the sectional tournament – 7-4 to Fort Pierce and 12-7 to Wellington – ended what had been a terrific run for this VSLL team.
Cole Teply struck out 10 in 4 2/3 innings of scoreless work in the first game against eventual sectionals champion Fort Pierce. Robbie Behrens had four hits in the two games, including a 3-for-3 effort in the Fort Pierce game.
“For eight of the boys, it was their first All-Star experience, and the first time these boys had played together as a team,” manager Andy Williams wrote in an email. “They really came together and should be proud of how far they did go. (It) was a wonderful experience.”
After erupting for 17 hits in a 19-1 opening-game victory against Boca Raton, the VSLL was held to just six hits in a 6-4 defeat against Southwest Port St. Lucie.
Declan McDermott went 3-for-3 with two home runs, four RBIs and three runs scored in the first game. Peter Petracco was also 3-for-3 with a pair of doubles. Joshua Mack went 3-for-4 with two doubles and two runs scored. Matt Morrow had two hits, including a double, to go with three RBIs and three runs scored. Ethan Huffman, Liam Samuels and Matt Valdes each had two hits while Sean Rodney had three RBIs.
On the mound, McDermott struck out four in two scoreless innings and David Rusnak struck out three in his two innings of work.
In the second game, Petracco staked the VSLL to an early lead with a three-run homer, but SW Port St. Lucie scored four unearned runs in the third inning and went on to win. Brett Anderson went 3-for-3 with a double and an RBI. Valdes went the distance on the mound, striking out four and allowing just one earned run.
For the All-Star season, Petracco batted .727 with nine RBIs and eight hits, including one home run and three doubles. Anderson hit .636 with two doubles, two home runs, nine RBIs and six runs scored. Mack batted .583 with three doubles and seven runs scored. McDermott hit .462 with two doubles, two homers, seven RBIs and nine runs scored. Huffman and Rodney each batted .455 with Rodney collecting six RBIs.
Valdes batted .444 and JT Smith had an average of .429.
On the mound, Valdes struck out nine in nine innings and had an ERA of 0.67. McDermott threw 7 2/3 innings, striking out 12 and posting an ERA of 1.56.
Most of this group should be back next year to make a run at a spot in the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pa.