The Destin All-Stars pounded out 10 hits to post a 13-7 win over Shalimar in the winner’s bracket of the Florida District 1 Little League 8-10 year old Baseball Tournament in DeFuniak Spring Monday night.
With the win the Destin All-Stars advance to play DeFuniak Springs at 7:30 p.m. Thursday.
As for Monday’s victory, the Destin All-Stars made a good showing.
“My boys played hard,” said Destin Coach Justin Ray. “We have worked tirelessly on drills over the last couple of weeks, so the game really is just a matter of execution.
“We made a couple of base running mistakes and a few errors on defense, but we picked each other up with good pitching and aggressive at bats,” Ray added.
Leading the Destin bats was Jace Cunningham who had two doubles and a single for three RBIs and Charlie Frankfurt with two singles and an RBI.
Destin started strong scoring three runs in the top of the first. Frankfurt singled and Koren Silver walked. Brody Ray took one deep to sacrifice in Frankfurt. Cunningham followed with a double to left center to score Silver. Cunningham later slipped in on passed ball at the plate for a 3-0 start.
In the bottom half, Destin’s defense shut Shalimar down quickly. Ray, playing catcher, caught a foul ball behind the plate. Shortstop Palmer Robbins fielded a grounder for a putout at first and Cunningham, on the mound, got the other out on a strikeout.
In the top of the second, Destin put up three more runs. With two outs, Frankfurt and Silver reached on errors. Ray ripped a single to left and then Cunningham doubled up the middle to bring in two runs. Caleb Wright, pinch running for Ray, scored the final run for a 6-0 lead.
Shalimar cut the lead in the half in the bottom of the second. After Cunningham had got the first two batters out, Dylan Blair walked. Issac Smalling and Josh Kelly hit back-to-back singles. Blair scored on the hit from Kelly and the other two scored on throwing errors.
In the top of the third, Destin went through the batting order scoring five runs on three hits and four walks. Robbins had the big hit of the inning, a triple to right center for three RBIs. Frankfurt singled in a run and Ray hit another sacrifice to score a run. Cunningham had the other hit for the inning and Destin led 11-3.
Shalimar picked up one run in the bottom half. Kameron Kestner singled and scored on a throwing error.
Shalimar scored two more in the fourth for an 11-6 ball game.
In the bottom of the fifth, Destin’s Vance Kirby struck out the side on Shalimar sitting them down one, two, three.
In the top of the sixth, Destin added two more runs on two hits. Kirby and Mason George each connected for singles and scored.
Shalimar picked up one last run in the bottom half before Destin’s Frankfurt came in and shut them down on a strikeout for the win.
Destin used three pitchers in the game. Cunningham started and faced 19 batters, struck out three and gave up four hits. Kirby was up next and faced 11 batters, struck out six and gave up three hits. Frankfurt faced one and struck out one.
Earlier in tournament play, the Destin All-Stars blasted Paxton 18-2.