Heartbreaking loss ends season for VSLL 9-11 baseball in state semis


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The VSLL 9-11 All-Star baseball team won the district and section championships this season. But after winning its first two games at the state tournament, the VSLL lost in the semifinals.

VIERA VOICE Courtesy Paul Soehnlein

This one was a heartbreaker.

The Viera-Suntree Little League 9-11 All-Star baseball team found itself two innings away from going to the state championship game, only to see Sarasota rally for a walk-off victory in the semifinals in DeLand.

In a back-and-forth game, Apollos Horrell’s solo home run put Viera-Suntree ahead 1-0 in the top of the first.

Sarasota would rally for a run in the bottom of the first and three runs in the second, but the VSLL would come back again in the third to take a 5-4 lead.

Luc Iten singled and scored on a double by Horrell. A Luke Campbell groundout scored Lucas Glendinning. And a two-run homer by Jaden Mack gave Viera-Suntree the lead.

A two-run homer by Iten in the fifth would make it a 7-4 game, but Sarasota would score three times in the bottom of the inning, then get a walk-off homer to end the game in the bottom of the sixth.

Dylan Jordan started the game and went 4 1/3 innings for Viera-Suntree with relief help from Cam Simpkins.

Iten went 2-for-4 with two runs scored, a home run and two RBIs. Glendinning had a hit and a run scored. Horrell was 2-for-2 with two runs scored, a home run, two RBIs and two intentional walks. Mack was 1-for-3 with the two-run homer.

After getting knocked out in the section finals last season, the players made it their goal to get to the state tournament this year … and they did. Of course, they wanted more, but it was still a season to be proud of for a team that utilized every single player on its roster in an important role.

This year’s team included: Iten; Campbell; Glendinning; Horrell; Mack; Simpkins; Jordan; PJ Befumo; Anthony Soehnlein; Nolan Taylor; Logan Keith; Bryson Weeks and James Baxter.