tampabay.com

Homer a game nets Dunedin a district crown

By DOUG KATES
Published July 18, 2006


DUNEDIN - It's one thing to win five games and a District 12 Major Boys championship title. It's another thing to a hit a home run in each one of those five games.

Dunedin's Ben Emery made it 5-for-5 Monday night as he sparked his teammates to a 9-1 victory over East Lake to advance to sectional play in the Little League postseason.

Dunedin and East Lake were in a 1-all tie when Emery launched a two-run blast over the centerfield fence.

"I watched it go over the fence," he said. "It was pretty."

Asked why he hit only one per game, Emery responded, "Have to save them up for better games."

Emery finished 3-for-4 with a double, Noah Klassen had one double and one single, and Colyn O'Connell had two singles.

On the mound, William Honey-cutt went the distance. He tossed a three-hitter with 11 strikeouts. All three hits were infield singles by Matt Albers.

"I was nervous (in the first inning)," Honeycutt said. "I didn't want to blow it. But one bad inning doesn't hurt. We played our game."

District 12 Junior Girls

DUNEDIN - Countryside pitcher Alyssa Bache was breezing along with a perfect game until something out of her control may have set her back.

In the district Junior Girls championship Monday night, Bache was hit by a pitch while she batted in the top of the fifth. She returned to the mound in the bottom of the inning, but the first batter she faced was West Pasco pitcher Brittany Martin, who singled to spoil the perfect effort and no-hitter.

Bache finished a 4-0 victory. She tossed a one-hitter with 11 strikeouts and one walk - Martin also had the walk.

"I just pitched as hard as I could," Bache said. "I got a little rattled, but got through it. I focused on my pitching and my team focused on their fielding and hitting."

Katie Aaraj had a big two-run single off the bench for Countryside. Bache chipped in two singles of her own.

District 12 Junior Boys

DUNEDIN - Greater Holiday Little League waited 30 years to see its Junior Boys All-Star program win a district baseball title. It finally happened Sunday afternoon with an 11-4 victory over Clearwater.

Winning pitcher Kent Townsend learned after the semifinals July 10 he would be Holiday's starting pitcher in the district championship game, but for the next three days the event was postponed because of thunderstorms, then the next two days the fields were unavailable.

"It was boring," Townsend said. "I watched TV and looked at the rain."

The title game was moved to Sunday afternoon in the blistering heat, but Townsend went the distance for his first win on the mound in all-star competition this season. He had no strikeouts through the first four innings, but finished with six strikeouts in the final three. Overall, he threw 114 pitches.

"I got stronger in the end," he said. "I was just pumped up."

The game was tied 4-all going into the bottom of the fifth inning. Holiday scored seven runs in its final two innings to seal the victory.

The highlight of the game was 26 baserunners for Holiday and 18 for Clearwater. Twenty-nine of them never saw home plate.

Townsend led the Holiday offense with a double and a single. Austin Abbott had two singles off the bench. Defensively, catcher Chris Ruggerio threw out two potential base stealers and had an assist in a rundown play.

Clearwater was led by Jake Elyward with three singles and Zaf Goss with two singles. A.J. Eastman poked a triple.

Big League

Max Krevter's fifth-inning home run sparked a five-run rally, leading host Dunedin to a state championship in the Big League All-Star division Sunday.

Port St. Lucie held a 4-2 lead going into the bottom of the fifth when Dunedin used its rally to take the lead. Port St. Lucie fought back with a two-run home run in the seventh inning to pull to within 7-6, but fell short of forcing a tie.

Tyler Schmidt had two hits for Dunedin, Steve Lynch belted a triple, and Ryan Schneider ripped a double. On the mound, Ricky Rogers and Briam Garcia combined for the win and had eight strikeouts.