Courtesy photo The Highlands County Pirates, in just their fifth tournament as a team, came away with the Central Florida Fall Classic trophy this past weekend.
published: Friday, October 18, 2013
Highlands Pirates take Classic title
Special to the News-Sun
DUNDEE - The Pirates, a Highlands County 8-and-under travel baseball team, played this past weekend in the Central Florida Fall Classic Tournament in Dundee.
The Pirates are a new team, having only participated in a few tournaments over the past summer.
The group is led by head coach Colin Evans and he is assisted by Justin Jackson, William Sebring and Ken Littlefield.
The first game put the boy's defensive skills to the test.
Third baseman Clayton Evans, assisted in five of the games outs with throws to first baseman Ezera Jackson.
Outfielders Zain Carmichael and Chase Sevigny both made remarkable catches.
Brad Benton was behind the plate at catcher and contributed to the outs with a throw down to second baseman Cody Littlefied.
The game was a close loss with the opposing team scoring a run in the bottom of the sixth inning to take the lead 9-8.
The team stepped up their offense in game two as Kason Blanton and Sevigny went two-for-two at bat.
Josh Morgan went two-for-three with a single and double.
Alex Vice, consistent at bat, went two-for-two.
The boys repeatedly had base hits and with their aggressive base running, they took the early lead and just kept building.
The game ended early after the fourth inning based on the ten-run rule with a final score of 14-3.
Day two was bound to be a great day for the Pirates when the first game produced three inside-the-park home runs, two from Littlefield and one from George Sebring.
Aiden Wyatt and Jayden Garrett showed off their bunting skills and Carmichael brought some real intensity behind the plate at catcher.
The Pirates scored the maximum runs allowed in the first, third and fourth innings.
Evans caught a fly ball for the last out of the game to end it at 19-6 at the end of the fourth inning.
During the final game, the Pirates found themselves matched up against the team that had beaten them during game one.
In order to win the tournament, the Pirates had to not only beat the team, but beat them by five runs.
The Pirates gained home field advantage during the coin toss and headed out into the field.
The game started with three batters up and three batters down, just the confidence booster the boys needed.
They scored two runs in the bottom of the first and held the opposing team to one run in the top of the second.
Pitcher Josh Morgan caught a pop fly for the third out of the inning.
During the third inning, both teams scored the maximum amount of runs allowed keeping the Pirates ahead by only one run.
The top of the fourth was a replay of the first inning - three batters up, three batters down.
Second baseman Littlefield fielded the first ball, throwing it to first baseman Jackson for the out.
The next two outs were fielded by shortstop Garrett and thrown to first base for the outs.
The Pirates then scored four runs in the bottom of the fourth, putting them ahead by five.
In the top of the fifth, one run was allowed and the Pirates returned with three runs of their own to stay ahead by seven.
At the start of the sixth inning, the Pirates needed to hold them to a maximum of two runs for the win.
The opposing team scored their two runs and there were two outs.
A ground ball was hit down the first base line, where Jackson fielded the ball and tagged the base for the final out of the game.
The Pirates won the game 14-9 and became the Central Florida Fall Classic Champions.
This was the boy's fifth tournament together and their first championship.
The excitement on the boy's faces in dugout once they realized they were taking home first place was nothing less than priceless.
proud (by: Justin Jackson - 10/18/2013)
Super proud of these boys. The work and dedication that they put forth is nothing less than awesome. Even with a few new players just recently joining, they all bring something unique to the team that we need. And the paper was right, seeing them celebrate in the dougout was PRICELESS
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