The Wesley Chapel American All-star team won in the first ever Dixie Youth Baseball state T-ball tournament by defeating Freeport 26-4 July 4 at Avon Park in Hardee County.
The tournament was a five-team round robin in which the Wesley Chapel team went 4-0.
Game 1 was against Okeechobee, which Wesley Chapel played in the finals of the south regional tournament a few weeks earlier. Okeechobee scored seven runs in the first inning, but were held to two the rest of the game. The Americans put up eight in the second to win 19-9. Kyle Doran and Evan Richter led the way on defense. Richter had six putouts and Doran added three assists and two putouts. Jacob Rodriguez, Connor Hull and Tyler Armstrong each had three hits, including a homerun by Armstrong. Axel Torrellas had a triple and double, while Caden Kwiat had two doubles.
Game 2 had the boys slotted against host and local favorite Hardee. Both teams brought the bats to this contest. Wesley Chapel led by seven after the fourth inning. Hardee scored 14 runs in the last two innings to go up by three heading into the bottom of the sixth. The Americans scored four times capped off by a two-RBI triple by Seth Martinez to clinch the victory in walk-off fashion 25-24. Luke Fischer and Rodriguez each went 4-for-4 with four runs scored. Martinez had three triples including the game winner and Jackson Choinski had two hits and five RBI.
Games 3 and 4 of the tournament were against teams from Paxton and Freeport. In the end, the Wesley Chapel club was too much for the two teams representing the panhandle. The Americans got off to quick starts in both games and cruised to victory 24-5 against Paxton and 26-4 versus Freeport. Every member of the Wesley Chapel team had at least two hits and a run scored against Paxton. Cole Callicoat, Choinski and Torrellas had homers. Against Freeport Brad Simpson, Torrellas and Martinez each had one homerun, with Martinez’s being a grand slam.
The American’s were made up of all-star players from area Little Leagues.
“It was a great run by the team to achieve the ultimate prize,” said assistant Ed Richter. “The boys played their hearts out and all played for each other. Most importantly they had a ton of fun just being together. The postseason may have only been five weeks, but the friendships will last forever.”