McDermott hits another pair of home runs, but VSLL All-Stars fall


Members of the Viera/Suntree Little League 11-12 All-Star baseball team gather on the mound after their season came to an end.. The VSLL team won its first two games at the state tournament in Tallahassee, but lost in the championship game of pool play.

VIERA VOICE Courtesy Erin Teply

Once again, Declan McDermott hit a pair of two-run homers for the Viera/Suntree Little League 11-12 All-Star baseball team at the state tournament.

But this time, it wasn’t enough.

Keystone (Tampa) defeated the VSLL 10-4 in the championship game of pool play Saturday night in Tallahassee.

“Finishing the season with a 9-1 record, as District 2 champions, as Section 2 champions and as a top three team in the state of Florida is an accomplishment they can all be proud of,” manager Damien McDermott wrote in an email. “The 13 players on this team put in a lot of hard work and effort which showed when they took the field and I wish them all the best of luck as they transition from 60 (foot) field to the 90 (foot) field next season.

“It has been an honor to manage this team and I hope everyone is able to take away as much as I did from this awesome experience!”

McDermott also thanked the parents, families, fans and volunteers for all of their support this season as well as his assistant coaches Travis Mack, Mike Anderson and Danny Valdes.

It was quite a summer for the VSLL team, with all 13 players contributing in their own way.

Matthew Valdes led the team in innings pitched (14.1) and strikeouts (21) while Ethan Huffman had the lowest ERA (1.68) of the team’s top three pitchers with the most innings.

Cole Teply struck out 18 batters in 10 innings and also led the team with a .560 batting average and eight home runs.

McDermott, who hit five home runs at the state tournament – including a pair of two-run homers in each of the last two games – had seven overall this summer. He lead the team with 16 hits, 18 RBIs and 19 runs scored. He batted .533.

Aiden Davis batted .500 and Peter Petracco hit four home runs and had 11 RBIs. J.T. Smith (10 RBIs), Brett Anderson, Joshua Mack (13 RBIs), Liam Samuels and Huffman all hit three home runs.

The team also got solid contributions from Sean Rodney, Cole Hewatt and Matthew Morrow.