VSLL Juniors sweep Eau Gallie for District 2 baseball title
Members of the Viera-Suntree Little League Juniors All-Star baseball team hold up the District 2 championship banner. The VSLL clinched the title Monday night with a 5-1 win over Eau Gallie.
VIERA VOICE Carl Kotala
Three games in a row, they fell behind early.
Three games in a row, they came back and won.
And now the Viera-Suntree Little League Juniors are your District 2 baseball champions.
With Lucas Glendinning and his curveball shutting down the Eau Gallie Little League lineup for most of the night, the VSLL got some cutch hitting to pull away for a 5-1 victory Monday night at Viera Regional Park.
The win gave the VSLL a three-game sweep in the best-of-five series. Next up will be the sectionals on July 13 in Port St. Lucie.
While the VSLL would ideally not like to fall behind early in that tournament, at least manager Jason Allen knows his team is more than capable of coming from behind if it has to.
“(Eau Gallie) scored runs in the first inning of every game, so we started every game behind,” Allen said. “They just kept battling, never let down and they just hung in there.
“It was a good team effort. Every one of them, from top to bottom, did an outstanding job.”
Trailing 1-0 in the top of the third, the VSLL tied the game when Apollos Horrell singled, stole second and scored on a single by Luc Iten.
It would become 2-1 an inning later when a throwing error by Eau Gallie led to a VSLL run.
A Logan Keith fly ball dropped in to bring home a run in the top of the fifth to make it a two-run game.
Any hopes of an Eau Gallie comeback fell through in the bottom of the sixth. With a runner on first breaking for second, a fly ball to short right field was caught by VSLL second baseman Cole Smith, who threw to first baseman Luke McDonough to complete the double play.
Horrell then led off the top of the seventh with a double and scored on a single by Glendinning. McDonough also delivered an RBI single to make it 5-1.
The rest was up to Glendinning, who threw a complete game and had the Eau Gallie hitters off-balance for much of the night.
“He’s our No. 1 or 2 pitcher any day of the week,” Allen said. “When he’s got his stuff working, he’s hard to beat.”
Now it’s onto sectionals where this group will try to advance to the state tournament.
And if there’s one thing this group has going for it, it’s the familiarity of knowing each other so well.
Aaron Brand; Luke Campbell; Glendinning; Horrell; Iten; Dylan Jordan; Keith; McDonough; Cameron Ruston; Cameron Simpkins; Smith; Blake Strode; Brycen Weeks and Camden Wicker have been playing together for a long time.
“That’s hugely important,” Allen said. “A lot of these kids play on the same travel ball team. They know how they throw the ball, all the little ins and outs of each other. That’s a huge key.”