They went the distance, but came up one run short.
The Destin All-Stars lost 8-7 to Niceville in the Florida District 1 Little League 6-8 year-old Machine Pitch Baseball Tournament played at Dalton Threadgill Little League Park in Destin Thursday night.
“I couldn’t be more proud of them,” said Destin team manager Danny Collins as he walked off the field Thursday evening. “There’s nothing we could have done outside of what we did tonight. They hit the ball well and played amazing defense.
“Niceville just got us by one, nothing we could do. They fought the whole game,” Collins added.
Destin got on the board first in the top of the first inning. Ethan Thomas singled to left and scored on a hit by Quentin Saviola.
However, Niceville answered with two runs. PJ Brechtel and Charles Hill hit back-to-back singles with Brechtel scoring. Levi Grunwalt reached on a fielder’s choice and later scored for a 2-1 advantage.
In the top of the second, Destin got runners on base but couldn’t push one across the plate. Jordan Galloway and Cam Goins each had hits.
Niceville pulled away in the bottom of the second scoring four runs on four hits. Destin’s shortstop Bentlee Bailey made a couple of good plays for outs, as did third baseman Ethan Thomas.
In the top of the third, Destin got one run back. Hamilton Martin reached on an error and moved around to second on a bunt single from Bailey. McCarver Dalhman belted a single to left to score Martin for a 6-3 game.
Niceville added one run in the bottom half on three hits. Grunwalt singled and scored on a hit from Fisher Nelson.
In the top of the fifth, Destin gained a little more ground scoring three runs. Goins and Hunter Ray hit back-to-back singles, and then the next batter grounded out. Martin singled and Goins scored. Thomas reached on an error and Ray scored. Martin managed to score for a 7-5 game.
The Destin defense shut Niceville down in the bottom half with Goins making a couple of stops in the pitching position as well as Bailey fielding a grounder at shortstop for an out.
In the top of the sixth, Destin managed to even the score with two runs. Saviola singled to left center and stole second. Stephen Riggs took one deep to left center to score Saviola. Riggs came home on a couple of throwing errors to tie the game.
In the bottom half, Niceville scored the one run needed for the win. Bode Mayville singled and moved around on a hit from Jaxon Dark. Mayville eventually scored on a hit from Triston Young.
In earlier tournament action, Destin defeated Freeport 17-3 on Tuesday and then Baker 32-16 on Wednesday.