VSLL Juniors one win away from trip to World Series

Horrell, Iten come up big as VSLL rallies past Tennessee 12-7


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Apollos Horrell's had three RBIs, including a two-run single to put the Viera-Suntree Little League ahead in the bottom of the sixth inning as the VSLL rallied past Tennessee 12-7 in the Southeast Regional in Broadway, Virginia. Horrell also threw two shutout innings in relief. The VSLL is now one win away from reaching the World Series.

VIERA VOICE Carl Kotala

One more win.

That’s all that stands between the Viera-Suntree Little League All-Star Junior baseball team and a trip to the World Series.

Trailing 7-4 late in Sunday’s game against Tennessee, the VSLL scored twice in the fifth and six times in the sixth for a 12-7 victory that put the Florida team into Monday’s Southeast Regional championship game at 2:30 p.m. in Broadway, Virginia.

The VSLL will play the winner of the 11:30 game between Tennessee and South Carolina for the right to go to Taylor, Michigan for the Little League Junior World Series, which is scheduled for Aug. 11-18.

As with all of their games this season, the VSLL got contributions from just about everyone up and down their lineup to get past Tennessee in a matchup of teams who were both 2-0 entering the contest.

After Tennessee scored twice in the top of the fifth to take a three-run lead, the VSLL opened the bottom of the fifth with some aggressive baserunning.

Cole Smith walked, stole second, and scored on an RBI single by Apollos Horrell. After Horrell stole second, Lucas Glendinning came through with an RBI single to make it a 7-6 game.

Horrell, who came on in relief of starter Dylan Jordan, threw a scoreless sixth inning, which set up the big comeback in the bottom of the frame.

Cameron Simpkins singled and Aaron Brand was safe on an infield chopper. After Smith walked to load the bases, Horrell ripped a single up the middle to bring home the tying and go-ahead runs.

Luc Iten then hit a two-run double to make it 10-7 Florida. A throwing error by Tennessee’s catcher on a pickoff attempt at third base allowed two more runs to score and suddenly the VSLL was up by five.

Horrell finished off Tennessee in the top of the seventh, and the VSLL moved just one step away from booking a flight to Michigan.

Iten had three hits and three RBIs for the VSLL. Glendinning had three hits and Horrell had two hits and three RBIs.

Jordan struck out two in five innings and did a good job of getting ahead of Tennessee batters by throwing 20 first-pitch strikes. Horrell struck out two in his two innings of work.