DP Majors, Ocoee Juniors triumph in district finals
| 7:30 a.m. July 16, 2015
WINTER GARDEN — The 12-Year-Old All-Stars from Dr. Phillips Little League broke out the bats early on Monday night and never looked back.
Back-to-back home runs by Titan Kamaka and Michael Furry in the bottom of the first inning got things rolling, and a three-run home run by starting pitcher Noah Sullivan in the bottom of the second inning all but cemented things as Dr. Phillips sprinted to a 16-2 win over the Windermere-National All-Stars in four innings in the District 14 Championship Game.
“The offense was key; we scored double-digit runs in almost all our games,” Dr. Phillips head coach Dennis Pope said. “All facets of the game, we played really well. Our pitching was stellar, also.”
Indeed, Dr. Phillips went 6-0 in the tournament, outscoring opponents 81-14 — an average of 13.5 runs per game.
For Windermere-National, although the final result was disappointing, simply making the championship game was an accomplishment in some ways. The team was considered an underdog to Windermere’s American team and lost twice in pool play but found a way to defeat Winter Garden, to which it had lost 8-2 in the tournament’s opener, 11-1 in the semifinals on Sunday.
“Kind of our whole point and goal was synergy — that we’re better as a team than we are as each individual player,” head coach Bob Dickerson said. “That’s exactly what we proved … with how these kids played and how they kept their heads up.”
Dr. Phillips will advance to the Section 5 Tournament, which will begin on Friday at St. Cloud Little League. The team includes Max Cutts, Chase Dunlap, Max Fishman, Michael Furry, Cole Hallman, Grant Houde, Nicholas Ierubino, Travis Jordan, Titan Kamaka, Kaden Lucas, Noah Sullivan, Nicholas Walzak and Mason Wilson.
OCOEE HOLDS ON
The score was the same, but the result was reversed.
Just seven days after the Windermere Juniors All-Star team defeated Ocoee in extra innings, 6-5, Ocoee returned the favor with a 6-5 victory in the District 14 Championship on Monday.
“It’s (our) character — we played a great game against them and they came out on top (July 6),” head coach Josh Wolfal said. “We came out on top in the championship game, and it just says a lot about our character — (we) battled back.”
Timmy Sides got the start on the mound for Ocoee, pitching 4.2 innings before being relieved by Hylan Hall. In relief, Hall tossed 2.1 innings and struck out seven batters while allowing just one hit.
Defensively, Orlando Perez led the way by turning two double-plays at shortstop, and Garrett Clark had a pivotal two-run double at the plate. Dylan Winn went 2-for-4 at the plate, and Alex Maura went 2-for-3.
Ocoee will advance to the Section 5 Tournament in St. Cloud this weekend, and afterward Wolfal said he’d like to dedicate the victory to Allen Herring. Herring was an active member at the Little League and in the Ocoee community and died in 2012.