Campbell, Horrell home runs power VSLL past Eau Gallie
Team one win away from district title
Members of the Viera-Suntree Little League Majors baseball team celebrate after Luke Campbell (No. 8) hit a two-run home run to put them in the lead during Thursday's District 2 game. The VSLL won 8-3 to advance to Sunday's championship game.
VIERA VOICE Carl Kotala
It took a few innings for the Viera-Suntree Little League Majors baseball team to find its groove Thursday night.
But once it did, the results were pretty spectacular.
Trailing for the first time in District 2 tournament play after giving up a two-run homer in the bottom of the first inning, the VSLL got a run in the fourth, a two-run home run from Luke Campbell in the fifth and a mammoth three-run homer from Apollos Horrell in the sixth.
And when it was all over, the VSLL had an 8-3 win over Eau Gallie and a spot in Sunday’s 11 a.m. championship game. In order for any team to take the title from the VSLL, it would have to win twice.
As happy as VSLL manager Travis Mack was with the win, he wasn’t pleased with the way his team started the game.
“We came out sloppy in the pregame,” Mack said. “You could tell. If our pregame is solid and tight and we have a lot of enthusiasm, we do well.
“We just were asleep the first couple of innings. And they had a good pitcher on the mound. We had to adjust to what he was throwing us and I think we made the adjustments and it paid off.”
That was certainly true in the fifth inning when Campbell hit one over the right-field fence to put the VSLL up for the first time.
It was just the kind of spark the team was looking for.
“That kind of set the tempo right there,” Mack said. “That’s a game changer. We can hit up and down the lineup. We just have to focus in.
“Campbell’s home run was the spark. To have him come up and do that, it was very important.”
As big as Campbell’s home run was, the game was still tight until Horrell came up in the sixth inning and simply launched one.
“He’s hit them every bit of 350-360 feet, so,” Mack said. “He’s got a great swing. He’s a confident little boy. He likes to swing the baseball bat, and that’s what he does.
“He doesn’t get rattled up there. He goes up there and does his job.”
Jaden Mack would add an RBI double for the VSLL, which had 11 hits on the night.
Horrell, Dylan Jordan, Lucas Glendinning and Luc Iten all had two hits each.
Glendinning also had a big night on the mound, giving up just three hits, no walks and striking out seven over five innings. Brycen Weeks threw the last inning to close things out.
The VSLL also got a couple of big catches in the outfield from Jordan and Carter Virsik and some solid play from Cam Simpkins, PJ Befumo, Logan Keith, Anthony Soehnlein and Carson Cruse.
With his team now just a win away from claiming the District 2 title, Mack didn’t hold back on his prediction for how the weekend will go.
“We’re going to win,” Mack said. “You can quote me on that – we’re going to win.”