Team Florida takes Ozone win
Highlands TodayThe Sebring Dixie Ozone (ages 11-12) All-Stars picked up a 2-1 victory over Team Louisiana to begin play at the Dixie Ozone World Series in Cleveland, Miss., on Saturday.
Published: July 30, 2012
Published: July 30, 2012
Sebring, playing in the World Series as Team Florida, was first to change the scoreboard, as Trent Lewis was hit by a pitch in the first inning and Everett Hurst drew a walk. A single by Dayvon Terry moved the runners up and Lewis was able to score on a passed ball.
Team Louisiana tied the game in the second inning with a bit of help from Team Florida.
"The only run they got in the game was unearned," said Team Florida coach Cesar Martinez.
Team Florida regained the lead for good when Gabe Gomez hit a home run to lead off the fifth inning and the pitching staff was able to make it stand.
Martinez said he knew going into the game that it was going to be a tough one.
"We looked at the local papers for Bossier City (La.,) and when you read the articles you noticed they had one kid who was really top flight," he said. "The coaches and I were talking about if they would throw him at Team Florida, and sure enough, they threw him at Team Florida.
"He was crafty and had a good fastball. He had good breaking pitches and could throw them at any time in the count for a strike."
The Team Florida pitchers were able to keep up, with Trevor Thomas and Hurst combining to keep Team Louisiana at bay all game.
"Trevor Thomas and Everett, you couldn't ask for better outings from them," Martinez said. "They pretty much pitched lights out. We didn't have to burn anybody, so everybody is still available."
Teams from Sebring have captured the past two Dixie Ozone World Series titles, so everybody is gearing up for a chance to knock-off the defending two-time champions, even if it is primarily a collection of different players.
"We also had some World Series nerves and jitters, but the kids did a great job," Martinez said.
The team showed that it can put up plenty of runs during the state tournament, but Martinez said the kids on the mound for all teams are going to be tough.
"There are some good ball clubs up here and some good pitching," he said. "This is the World Series and we're not going to see any fluff."
Hunter Martinez had a pair of hits for Team Florida and Josh Rivera had a nice hit to the fence.
Coach Martinez said the people from the area have been great, doing anything they can to help out.
"We got off on a winning note, which is a good thing," he said.
Results from Team Florida's Sunday evening game with Team Mississippi were not available to press time. See Tuesday's Highlands Today for details.
firstname.lastname@example.org (863) 386-5841