The Destin All-Stars hammered out 20 hits to beat Shalimar 22-13 in the Florida District 1 Little League 10-12 Baseball Tournament in Shalimar Monday night.
“They all hit … I don’t know where to start. Every one of those kids did really well,” said Destin Coach Bill West.
Leading the Destin bats was lead-off batter Jacob Castle, who went five-for-five including two doubles and five RBIs. Gabriel Johnson connected for two doubles and a single for two RBIs, and Owen Davis hit a double and two singles for an RBI. Price Bowen and Garrett Jacobs each had two hits with Jacobs getting three RBIs. Others with one hit each were James Boykin, Roman LaRumbe, Ethan Ramsey, Kadon Chapman and Cole Riche.
In addition to the offense, the Destin defense did an outstanding job as well.
“Owen gave us some really good innings, and then Garrett came in and did great,” West said of his pitchers.
Davis started and went three innings. He struck out four and gave up two hits. Jacobs faced four batters and struck out one and gave up one hit. Then the rest of the game got a little tricky.
West brought Castle in to pitch in the fifth and he made it through five batters, striking out two, before he was pulled so he could pitch the next night. In Little League, if a pitcher goes over 20 pitches they cannot pitch the next night. Coach West tried to put Bowen in to pitch, but Shalimar questioned the move. Bowen started at catcher for Destin and was later moved to the outfield and then the infield. Little League rules say if a player plays catcher for three innings, they can’t pitch the same game.
Because of a mix up of the umpire not turning in Destin’s substitutions to the press box, Bowen couldn’t pitch. Cole Riche finished up on the mound for Destin.
“We’re being led," West said. "What that did was save all three of our best pitchers because I would have burned two of them tonight, but it didn’t happen.
“So it turned out that all the protesting they did tonight led us to where we have our three best pitchers ready to go (Tuesday) night for Niceville,” West said.
Destin was scheduled to play the Niceville All-Stars at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in Shalimar. Results were not available at press time.
In Monday’s three hour, 10 minute game, Destin put one run on the board in the top of the first. Castle singled and scored on a sacrifice fly from Boykin.
Shalimar answered with two runs on a couple of fielding errors by Destin.
In the second, Shalimar added one more run with Jacob Sheppard belting a triple for a 3-1 advantage.
In the top of the third, Destin evened the score with two runs. Riche reached on a fielder’s choice and Castle belted a double to left center. Bowen walked and Riche scored on a passed ball. Boykin hit a fielder’s choice and Castle scored to tie the game.
Shalimar again took the lead in the bottom half with one run. Aiden Perry doubled and eventually stole home for a 4-3 lead.
In the fourth, Destin got the advantage back with three runs. Davis, LaRumbe and Chapman each walked and all scored when Castle blasted a single to right center. Destin led 7-4.
The Destin All-Stars shut Shalimar down quickly on a groundout, strikeout and then a pick at second base.
In the top of the fifth, the Destin bats came alive with the All-Stars connecting for seven hits, scoring eight runs for a 14-4 game.
Shalimar picked up three run in the bottom half.
In the sixth, Destin had another big turn at bat. This time they put the bat on the ball for nine hits to score eight runs.
Shalimar answered with six.
“I'm real proud of our parents and being supportive,” West said after the game wrapped up at 11:20 p.m. Monday.