By RODNEY PAGE
© St. Petersburg Times,
published August 8, 2001
GULFPORT -- When the state tournament began, Josh Tanski was Florida's sixth pitcher.
Tuesday, he was an ace.
Tanski threw a no-hitter as the team from Apopka cruised past West Virginia 5-0 at Arnold S. White Field. Florida (4-0 in pool play) has outscored its opponents 32-3. It advanced to Thursday's Southeast States semifinals. Florida's opponent will not be determined until pool play ends today.
The winners of the Southeast States and Gulf States brackets advance to Williamsport, Pa. for the Little League World Series.
"For an 11-year-old, (Tanski) is tough," second baseman Brandon Brewer said. "He doesn't get shaken up too easily. He looked over at those West Virginia boys, and they're big compared to him. But he isn't scared.
"He's never thrown anything like this."
Tanski allowed four runners, three walks and a hit batsman, but West Virginia advanced only one runner to second base. Florida turned two double plays, and Brewer made a good play on a hard-hit ball by Drew Retton in the first. Florida took control in the third when it scored four runs on three hits and two errors. Brewer drove in the first run with a single. Stuart Tapley then scored on an error by first baseman Nathan Angeline.
Two more runs scored when shortstop Kyle Allard threw short of home plate, allowing Brewer and Will Blankenship to score.
Florida added a run in the sixth when Brewer collected another RBI.
Brewer went 2-for-4 with a run scored, and Tapley went 3-for-3 with a walk and a run scored.
Florida hit 10 home runs in its two previous games but didn't hit one Tuesday. "We know we're going to have to play some good baseball to win this thing," Brewer said. "We're going to have to pitch it, catch it and get some timely hits. Home runs are nice, but we need the timely hits. Today, we got them."
OKLAHOMA 4, ALABAMA 2: Cody Horton allowed two runs and five hits and struck out six in a complete-game victory. Oklahoma can clinch a spot in the Gulf States semifinals with a victory today against Louisiana.
LOUISIANA 4, ARKANSAS 3 (7): Trailing 3-0 after the first inning, Louisiana rallied and won it in extra innings to stay unbeaten. Jared Ashford pitched six innings of scoreless relief to earn the win.
TEXAS 10, MISSISSIPPI 1: Texas scored on its first five at-bats on its way to the rout. The team from Orwall got three in the first, one in the second, one in the third, three in the fourth and two in the fifth. Dustin Cooley allowed one run on three hits in earning the win.