After losing its first game to Spring Hill American in the Dixie Youth Baseball Ozone State Tournament on Saturday in Bristol, the Sebring All-Stars had their backs against the wall.
Sebring bounced back from that early adversity by winning the rest of their games to reach the championship game against Spring Hill American on Wednesday night.
After a lengthy rain delay, which was normal for the tournament, Sebring extracted some sweet revenge by beating Spring Hill American by a score of 9-2 to win the Dixie Youth Baseball Ozone State Championship in a game that ended around midnight.
“I’m super proud of all the boys,” said Sebring Ozone coach Joel Travers. “They had to fight their way back after that first game and they did. To beat Spring Hill American for the state championship made it extra sweet.”
Sebring will become Team Florida and compete in the Dixie Youth Baseball Ozone World Series in Louisiana in August.
Sebring beat Spring Hill National by a score of 4-1 on Wednesday morning to get into the championship game.
Spring Hill American eliminated Okeechobee to reach the finals.
The championship game was close the first few innings until Sebring’s potent offense got rolling and broke the game open
It was a dogfight the first few innings,” coach Travers said. “But then our bats came alive and we started hitting the ball and Spring Hill American made a couple of errors that we took advantage of. We got key hits from a bunch of guys and we put it on them the last couple of innings.”
Sebring’s Dalton Todd earned the win on the mound with a complete-game performance.
“Dalton was awesome for us,” coach Travers said. “He did a great job, pitched the entire game and our defense was solid behind him. This is a close-knit team and they are a great bunch of boys.”
Sebring will now practice and prepare for their trip to the Dixie Youth Baseball Ozone World Series which begins Aug. 2 in Ruston, La.
Sebring will be joined in Ruston by the Sebring team that is competing in the Dixie Youth Baseball AAA World Series as Team Florida.
Not to be outdone, Avon Park has a team competing in the Dixie Youth Machine Pitch World Series in Ruston as well.
“We’re going to switch gears now and get ready for the Ozone World Series,” coach Travers said. “It will be neat to be joined by our local teams who are playing in their World Series in Ruston as well. It doesn’t happen very often that you get teams from the same area in the World Series.”
All three teams will be busy trying to raise money for their trek to their respective Dixie Youth Baseball World Series.
“We’re going to beat the bushes to try and raise money for this trip,” coach Travers said. “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity and we’re looking forward to it.”
The Sebring team has a goal of making its presence known at the Dixie Youth Baseball Ozone World Series.
“We’ve got a good ballclub,” coach Travers said. “The boys love playing and we have a lot of fun. This is a special experience that we’re going to enjoy. The boys are fired up and we plan on making some noise in the Ozone World Series.”