SARASOTA — The North Port Little League 10-12 all-stars left little doubt Monday night that they had the best team in District 16 as they rolled over Sarasota National 13-4 for the
championship at Twin Lakes Park.
The victory gave North Port a berth in the Section 6 tournament which starts July 12 in Bonita Springs in Lee County.
North Port took the lead early in the game. After Sarasota National took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning, North Port came back and scored two runs in the bottom of the first for a 2-1 lead they never gave up. Mason Allen opened the inning with a single. Devon Jackson then followed with another single. There was a throwing error on the play, allowing Allen to score the tying run. Jackson then scored on a fielders choice for the 2-1 North Port lead.
Jackson, who was the starting and winning pitcher for North Port, set Sarasota National down in order in the top of the second. North Port then broke the game open in the bottom of the inning, scoring eight runs for a 10-1 lead. Allen had a two-run single in the inning.
The Sarasota team scored three runs in the third inning, but North Port came back and scored three of its own in the bottom of the inning for a 13-4 advantage and that concluded the game's scoring.
` Jackson pitched into the fifth inning and Eli Porinchak pitched into the sixth, getting the first out with a strikeout. Logan Cook came on and concluded the game with a ground out and a strikeout that brought the North Port players out on the field to celebrate. Jackson threw six strikeouts and generally kept the Sarasota players off balance.
"It was pitching and hitting again for us just like last Thursday (a 9-6 win over Sarasota National in the semifinals)," said North Port manager Dave Santimauro. "This was the second ever 10-12 district title for a North Port team. I think the first one was back in the early 2000s."
Cooper Boggess continued his hot hitting for the winners, getting three hits. Allen added two hits and a walk for the winners. Porinchak, Landon Davidson and Cook also had big hits for the winners.
"I never had any doubt we would have a good team," said Santimauro. "All but one of the players on this team played on the 9-11-year old all-stars last year which took second in the district behind Venice (a close 4-3 loss)."
Scott is the only player on this year's team which could return to the 10-12 all-stars again, but there are some talented players in the younger divisions which could help.
Now, North Port will concentrate on getting ready for the Section 6 tournament.
"They have good teams down there (in southwest Florida)," Santimauro said. "We're going to take it easy for a couple of days and starting practicing right after the Fourth of July."