By GARY BROWN
SARASOTA — It’s already been a banner season for the The North Port Little League 10-12 all-stars. They won the District 16 title last week. Now they’re aiming for the Section 6 championship Saturday and Sunday in Lehigh Acres at that area’s Little League complex.
There will be two games Saturday and one Sunday involving four teams. North Port will open at 9 a.m. against San Carlos of Fort Myers. In the other 9 a.m. game, Fort Myers will take on Naples. North Port also will play at 12:30 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. Sunday. If two teams finish at 2-1, the championship will be decided by the game between the teams that had the best record and the best point differential.
“I don’t know much about the other teams,” said North Port manager Dave Santimauro. “But this section usually is pretty strong.”
North Port won the District 16 championship with a 3-0 record, defeating Englewood 5-1 and Sarasota National twice 9-6 and 13-4.
North Port has a strong pitching staff with Devon Jackson, Logan Cook and Eli Porinchak leading the way. Santimauro also has several players who can be quality relievers including Jacob Lombard, Landon Wade and Nick Posilovich.
“The key to us winning will be our pitching plus our defense and hitting,” Santimauro said. “We hit the ball well in the district tournament, scoring 27 runs in the three games.”
The members of the 10-12 all-stars are Mason Allan, Cooper Boggess, Shalom Carrasquillo, Logan Cook, Landon Davidson, A.J Heydet, Devon Jackson, Jacob Lombard, Eli Porinchak, Nick Posilovich, Dwon Stellwag Jr., Landon Wade and Bradyn Williams. Cook is the only player who will be eligible to play in this age division next season. The resst of the players probably will go on to the junior division or travel ball.
The winner of the section tournament will advance to the state tournament July 19-21 in Coral Springs.
ENGLEWOOD GETS ITS CHANCE
The Englewood Little League Junior all-stars will play in the Section 6 tournament after all.
Juniors manager Sean Kirsten was given some wrong information about the date of the tournment, thinking it was going to be last weekend. He had some players missing because of vacation and that gave him only seven players, making the team unable to play in the tournament. But he found out earlier this week that the tournament is going to be this Saturday and Sunday at the Lehigh Acres Little League field near Fort Myers. His players that were on vacation have come back and he now has at least nine players available.
“We’ve practiced Monday and Tuesday,” Kirsten said. “We should be ready to do well in the tournament.”
Englewood, which won the District 16 title after defeating Venice twice, will play at 9 a.m. Saturday against the District 9 team.
The District 9 team will play again at 2:30 p.m. Saturday against the District 18 winner. Englewood will play the District 18 winner at 9 a.m. Sunday. There are just three teams in the tournament. If all three teams finish with a 1-1 record, the point differential will decide the champion.
Englewood defeated Venice 20-10 and 12-10.
“I don’t know yet who the other teams will be yet other than what district they represent,” Kirsten said. “But we have a really good team and I’m optimistic.”
The winner will play in the state tournament the following weekend.
The Englewood squad has several players who can pitch. Aiden Bell is a standout player who had three hits in the first game against Venice and does a good job defensively at first base. He also is eligible to play for the Junior team next season.