Tuesday, Aug 19, 2014
Sports

No sizzle in Sebring; Spring Hill fizzles after four games


Published:   |   Updated: August 3, 2013 at 06:29 PM

The District 6 champion Spring Hill's Junior Boys (age 13) All-Stars could not maintain its early momentum in this week's 18th annual State Baseball Championship at the City of Sebring's Max Long Baseball Complex.

Hernando County's lone representative in the original six-team, double elimination format in Highlands County roared out of the gates with back-to-back tourney wins over Okeechobee (6-0) and West Seminole (24-0 in 3½ innings).

But ahead 4-1 in its third-round tilt against West Volusia, Spring Hill skipper Ryan Lotito Sr. opted to change his pitcher, son Ryan Jr.

That game's complexion swung with the switch as West Volusia rallied for a mercy-rule shortened, 14-4 verdict (5 1/2 innings).

Despite the setback, Spring Hill simply needed to solve West Seminole once more to reach the tourney semifinals.

Instead, a feisty West Seminole team which was crushed on Sunday by 3 1/2 touchdowns, eliminated Spring Hill (2-2 states, 4-2 overall), 13-8.

The next day, West Seminole was eliminated in the state semifinals by West Volusia, 20-8.

West Volusia earned its first state title since 2009 - and its second overall - by topping Okeechobee in the tourney finals, 13-7.

Spring Hill's tourney highlights revolved around its first two games.

According to assistant coach Randy Mosser, Jonathan "J.P." Gates twirled a two-hit shutout in Game 1 and helped his own cause with a solo homer.

Besides "his team's stellar defense" Dalton Mosser barrowed a bat when a pre-game equipment check found a "slight indentation with his bat."

A bit frustrated in not being able to use his own bat, the moment quickly turned to elation when Dalton crushed a first-inning solo homer to set the game's tone.

In Game 2, Dalton Mosser twirled four shutout innings to earn the mound win in the one-sided 24-0 win over West Seminole.

At the dish, Gates, John Oliveira and Ryan Lotito Jr. each clubbed two hits for the winners.

Going into Game 3, Spring Hill appeared way on its way to duplicating its 2011 state championship in this age group and earning a trip to represent Florida in the Dixie World Series in Columbus, Ga.

"We had some great resources and this was a great opportunity, but sometimes it doesn't all click," lamented Coach Mosser, filling in for Coach Lotito, who failed to return repeated interview requests.

"There's certainly no blame with the kids," added Coach Mosser. "They played hard. We just didn't click as a group. More than anything, I'm saddened for the kids."

2013 Dixie Junior Boys (age 13) All-Stars State Baseball Championship
at the City of Sebring's Max Long Baseball Complex

07-20:
West Seminole 4, Key West 3
Spring Hill 6, Okeechobee 0
West Volusia 8, East Lakeland 2

07-21:
West Volusia - bye
East Lakeland - bye
Okeechobee def. Key West, n/a
Spring Hill 24, West Seminole 0 (3½ Innings)

07-22:
West Seminole - bye
Okeechobee def. East Lakeland, n/a
West Volusia 13, Spring Hill 3 (5½)

07-23:
West Seminole 13, Spring Hill 8
Okeechobee 8, West Volusia 4

07-24:
West Volusia 20, West Seminole 8
(Championship)
West Volusia 13, Okeechobee 7

 
2013 Final Dixie Junior Boys (age 13) All-Stars State Baseball Tournament Standings

at the City of Sebring's Max Long Baseball Complex
- Compiled by TONY CASTRO
PL TEAM   W L .PCT RS RA
1. West Volusia*   4 1 .800 58 28
2. Okeechobee   3 2 .600 n/a n/a
3. Spring Hill   2 2 .500 41 26
3. West Seminole  2 2 .500 25 43
5. East Lakeland   0 2 .000 n/a n/a
5. Key West   0 2 .000 n/a n/a  
TOTALS (12)   11 11 .500 
* Advances to Aug. 3-7 World Series at South Commons in Columbus, Ga.

 
Past Florida Dixie Junior Boys (age 13) State Champions
YEAR  TEAM
1996   Avon Park
1997  Myrtle Grove
1998  Brooksville
1999  Myrtle Grove
2000  Sebring
2001  Panama City-Southport
2002  Panama City-Southport
2003  Panama City-Southport
2004  Panama City-Southport
2005  Tri-City
2006  Panama City-Southport
2007  Okeechobee
2008  Poinciana 
2009  West Volusia
2010  West Seminole
2011  Spring Hill
2012  Sebring
2013   West Volusia

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