Thursday, Apr 24, 2014
Sports

Brooksville yearns to erase state bagel


Published:

One of the state's oldest Dixie Youth League baseball programs, Brooksville, would love nothing better than reverse its trend in the AAA Majors (ages 10-11) division.

Entering today's opening round of the 58th annual State Tournament at the Walt Brewer Sports Complex in Arcadia, Hernando Youth League's Brooksville program has never returned home as state champion.

The 11-team field features Mulberry, Ponce de Leon, Frostproof, Franklin County, Bartow, Baker County, Brooksville, Bushnell National, Bushnell American, San Antonio and host DeSoto County.

The tourney's defending champion is Bushnell - which also captured the 2012 Dixie World Series.

Before last summer, Sumter County residents had claimed AAA Majors state crowns in 1972 and 2002.

Hernando County's Spring Hill Dixie program has raised three state championship banners in this division across the past six seasons (2008, 2010-11) while Brooksville is 0-for-55 years.

Since the millennium, Brooksville has been represented three previous times in the AAA Majors State Tourney posting a combined 4-6 won-lost slate.

Since 2000, the best finish was a 3-2 mark by Brent Young's 2006 Brooksville National nine.

This summer's Brooksville AAA Majors All-Stars became the fourth team since 2000 to reach states.

The 12-member roster includes: SS/P/1B Dalton Black, OF Dylan Black, C/1B Javier Bonilla, 2B/OF Harrison Carter, P/3B William Garland, P/SS/2B Devon Goncalves, OF William Kellar, OF/P/C Alex Kraft, P/SS Carson Lashley, OF/3B/P Austin Miller, C/OF Kelden Pupello and 3B/P Caleb Wharton.

Pat Garland serves as head coach and will be assisted by Craig Black and Dennis Pupello.

Brooksville features five returning All-Stars from 2012: William Garland, Goncalves, Kraft, Lashley and Kelden Pupello.

Brooksville (4-2) recently finished as District 6 runner-up at the Kenny Dixon Sports Complex to Bushnell National (5-1).

Bushnell National skipper John Adams' nine closed with a flourish behind four straight wins highlighted by a doubleheader brooming of Brooksville, 8-4 and 14-1.

After six games, Brooksville's leading hitter was Dalton Black, who led the club in at-bats (19), runs scored (nine), hits (10), extra base-hits (three) and average (.526).

Bonilla and William Garland each hit .500 and both mashed two homers. Lashley, who clubbed three of his team's 10 homers over the 180-foot fences, hit .385 and led the club with five walks.

"Offensively, the stats bore out that Dalton had a heck of a tournament," detailed Coach Garland. "And Javier was one of the most pleasant surprises."

Since districts, Coach Garland said his club concentrated on simulating Bushnell's hard-tossing pitchers.

"We've really been concentrating on getting the kids to pull the trigger against the faster pitchers, particularly from Bushnell," explained Coach Garland, whose team hit a collective .356 in Sumter County.

"To beat Bushnell we have to have every kid in our lineup hit like theirs," pointed out Coach Garland. "I also have to trust my starting pitchers a little more. I had a quick hook in districts. The key in a long tournament is making sure I have my best pitchers available to close it out."

On the evolving mindset of his players, "Our guys went into the district final thinking we can't get beat but we did," pointed out Coach Garland. "It was probably the best thing to happen to us. Since districts, our guys have practiced a little more seriously. The guys are still working hard; they're just a little more focused than they were before."

On what to expect against the deeper fences in DeSoto County, the coach said, "Our team is about speed and the running game - which we really couldn't use in the tiny ballpark at Bushnell. A bigger, more spacious ballpark opens up the door to our bunt game and our ability to run."

Brooksville opens today at 12:30 p.m. against Franklin County. Franklin County was shown the door after a 0-2 stay at states in 2012.

With a win today, and a second-round loss to the survivor of Bushnell American/Bartow, Brooksville would have to endure the rigors of a doubleheader on Sunday night.

"If we lose Saturday, it'll probably be too hard to win it all," declared Coach Garland. "We're going into that first game like we're playing Bushnell.

"I'm expecting a lot from these kids," added Coach Garland. "I think we could make to the championship. I won't be happy until we do."

At a Glance

What - 58th annual Dixie Youth League Baseball AAA Majors All-Stars (ages 11-12) State Tournament.

Who - Eleven teams in a double-elimination format featuring: Mulberry, Ponce de Leon, Frostproof, Franklin County, Bartow, Baker County, Brooksville, Bushnell National, Bushnell American, San Antonio and host DeSoto County. Defending champion is Bushnell.

Where - Walt Brewer Sports Complex, 1365 SE Hargrave St., Arcadia.

When - July 6-11 (weather permitting).

At Stake - State champion represents Florida in Aug. 3-8 AAA Majors World Series in Laurel, Mississippi.

By the Numbers: Hernando County's AAA Majors All-Stars State Results (2001-12)

- Compiled by TONY CASTRO

YR TEAM W L .PCT HEAD COACH

2003 Spring Hill American 1 2 .333 Tom Meier

2004 Spring Hill National 2 2 .500 Matt Martin

2006 Spring Hill National 4 2 .667 Mike Sollazzo

2006 Brooksville National 3 2 .600 Brent Young

2007 Spring Hill 2 2 .500 Jim Keith

2008 $$ Spring Hill American 6 1 .857 Shawn Laferty

2009 Spring Hill American 2 2 .500 Vito Tambasco Sr.

2010 $$ Spring Hill National 6 0 1.000 Al Sorrentino

2011 Brooksville 0 2 .000 Ed Ritter

2011 $$ Spring Hill National 7 0 1.000 Shawn Laferty

2012 Brooksville 1 2 .333 Jamie Stewart

2012 Spring Hill American 2 2 .500 Frank Frangione

2012 Spring Hill National 4 2 .667 Will Glenn

TOTALS (13) 40 21 .656 -12-

$$ Denotes state champion

By the Numbers: Past AAA Majors All-Stars (ages 11-12) State Champions (1956-2012)

- Compiled by TONY CASTRO

YEAR TEAM

1956 West Pensacola

1957 West Pensacola

1958 Lakeland

1959 West Pensacola

1960 Lakeland

1961 Myrtle Grove

1962 Myrtle Grove

1963 Myrtle Grove

1964 Myrtle Grove

1965 Myrtle Grove

1966 Myrtle Grove

1967 Myrtle Grove

1968 Bartow

1969 Myrtle Grove

1970 Brent East

1971 Myrtle Grove

1972 S. Sumter County

1973 Northeast Pensacola

1974 Brent East

1975 Brent East

1976 Northeast Pensacola

1977 Northeast Pensacola

1978 Fort Meade

1979 Northeast Pensacola

1980 Mid City

1981 Brent East

1982 Mid City

1983 Mid City

1984 Brent East

1985 Lynn Haven

1986 Brent

1987 Cantonment

1988 Brent

1989 Northeast Pensacola

1990 Winter Haven American

1991 Northeast Pensacola

1992 Northeast Pensacola

1993 Northeast Pensacola

1994 Northeast Pensacola

1995 Northeast Pensacola

1996 Northeast Pensacola

1997 Northeast Pensacola

1998 Bartow

1999 Fort Meade

2000 CRVW Vernon

2001 Avon Park

2002 Wildwood

2003 Bartow

2004 Bartow

2005 Callaway

2006 East Lakeland

2007 Holmes County

2008 Spring Hill American

2009 San Antonio

2010 Spring Hill National

2011 Spring Hill National

2012 Bushnell

-57-

2013 Brooksville AAA Majors (ages 11-12) All-Stars

NO. PLAYER POSITION(S)

3 William Garland* P/3B

4 Dylan Black OF

7 William Kellar OF

9 Harrison Carter 2B/OF

10 Carson Lashley P/SS

17 Alex Kraft* OF/P/C

24 Javier Bonilla C/1B

25 Austin Miller OF/3B/P

34 Devon Goncalves* P/SS/2B

44 Dalton Black SS/P/1B

56 Kelden Pupello* C/OF

99 Caleb Wharton 3B/P

* Denotes 2012 AAA Majors All-Star.

Head Coach - Pat Garland

Asst. Coach - Craig Black

Asst. Coach - Dennis Pupello

By the Numbers: Brooksville AAA Majors District 6 Results (2001-13)

- Compiled by TONY CASTRO

YR W L .PCT HEAD COACH

2001A 6 2 .750 Cliff Manuel

2001N 1 2 .333 Bill Korn

2002A 1 2 .333 Don McElroy

2002N 0 2 .000 Matt Stone

2003 1 2 .333 Mike Peters Sr.

2004 0 2 .000 Jeff Rollins

2005A 2 3 .400 Bubba Patterson

2005N 1 2 .333 Rob Bryson

2006 4 3 .571 Brent Young

2007 2 2 .500 Harry Timmons

2008 1 2 .333 Dudley Cullum

2009 0 2 .000 Donnie Whitehead Sr.

2010 4 2 .667 Bruce Price

2011 2 2 .500 Mike Peters

2012 0 0 .000 DNP/Hosted states

2013 4 2 .667 Pat Garland

TOTALS 29 32 .475 -15-

The Road to "The Show"

District 6 AAA Majors (ages 11-12) Tourney Recap at Bushnell's Kenny Dixon Sports Complex

06-08:

Wesley Chapel 13, South Lake 3 (6 Innings)

San Antonio 14, Oak Griner 3 (5)

Bushnell National 25, Ridge Manor 1 (3)

Bushnell American 7, Spring Hill National 6 (6 Innings)

06-10:

South Lake 8, Oak Griner 5

Brooksville 18, Wildwood 0 (3)

06-11:

Spring Hill National 17, Ridge Manor 0

San Antonio 8, Wesley Chapel 2

Brooksville 15, Bushnell American 6

06-12:

Spring Hill National 18, South Lake 8 (6)

Wesley Chapel won by forfeit over Wildwood

San Antonio 7, Bushnell National 4

06-13:

Bushnell American 7, Spring Hill National 6 (6)

Bushnell National 5, Wesley Chapel 2

Brooksville 11, San Antonio 2

06-14:

Bushnell National 6, San Antonio 2

Brooksville 7, Bushnell American 3

06-15:

(Third place)

San Antonio 13, Bushnell American 8

Bushnell National 8, Brooksville 4

(Championship)

Bushnell National 14, Brooksville 1 (6)

2013 Final District 6 AAA Majors (ages 11-12) Standings at Bushnell's Kenny Dixon Complex

PL TEAM W L .PCT RS RA

1. Bushnell* 5 1 .833 62 17

2. Brooksville* 4 2 .667 56 33

3. San Antonio* 4 2 .667 46 34

4. Bushnell American* 2 3 .400 31 47

5. Spring Hill National 2 2 .500 37 22

5. Wesley Chapel 2 2 .500 17 16

7. South Lake 1 2 .333 19 36

8. Oak Griner 0 2 .000 08 22

8. Wildwood 0 2 .000 00 18

8. Ridge Manor 0 2 .000 01 42

TOTALS 20 20 .500

* Denotes qualified for July 6 AAA Majors State Tournament at Arcadia.

2013 Brooksville AAA Majors District 6 Batting Statistics

- Compiled by TONY CASTRO

NAME GP AB R H 2B 3B HR .AVG

Black, Dalton 06 19* 09* 10* 1 0 2 .526*

Bonilla 06 12 05 06 1 0 2 .500

Garland 06 18 09 09 0 0 2 .500

Pupello 06 12 02 05 0 0 0 .417

Black, Dylan 06 05 01 02 0 0 0 .400

Harrison 06 15 04 06 2* 0 0 .400

Lashley 06 13 08 05 0 0 3* .385

Kellar 06 06 02 02 0 0 0 .333

Miller 06 06 02 02 0 0 0 .333

Goncalves 06 17 05 05 0 0 1 .294

Wharton 06 17 03 04 1 0 0 .235

Kraft 06 13 07 03 0 0 0 .231

TOTALS 06 153 57 59 5 0 10 .386

* Denotes team leader

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