Destin All-Stars fall at State tournament - 'It was a fun ride'

Tina Harbuck
Destin All-Stars represented Destin in the State Little League Tournament for 9-10s in Fort Myers over the weekend. Kneeling from left are Preston Murphy, Cooper Stanford, Jack Crews, Samantha Sherer and Aiden Garrity. Back row from left are Max Moran, Luke Edelman, Kai Bailey, Benton Henderson and Blake Forester. Coaches from left are Jimbo Murphy, Jade Stanford and Travis Bailey.

They battled to the end, but the Destin 9-10 All-Stars came up short in the State Little League Tournament in Fort Myers over the weekend.

Destin lost 5-4 to Navy Ortega Lakeshore of Jacksonville on Friday, and then fell to 13-2 to Bayshore of Tampa on Saturday and 6-2 to North Springs All-Stars of Coral Springs.

Fort Pierce won State with a 12-7 win over Bayshore on Sunday.

"Some of the best baseball is in Florida," said Destin Manager Jade Stanford. "And to be on the same stage with them is pretty impressive."

Other teams represented at the state tournament included Oviedo, Plant City and Fort Myers.

"I loved coaching those kids," Stanford said.

"They played hard and did a great job. It was a great experience.

"And they did a great job of representing Destin, the District and Section," he said.

In the first game against Navy Ortega, Destin fell behind 5-0, but then battled back picking up one run in the third, fourth, fifth and sixth innings.

"We had a couple of calls that didn't go our way. But that's baseball," Stanford said.

Samantha Sherer had two hits and two RBIs for Destin, while Luke Edelman had a hit and an RBI and Preston Murphy a hit.

Sharing pitching duties were Kai Bailey, Benton Henderson and Aiden Garrity.

In the second game, Destin went down 13-2 in four innings to Bayshore who lost in the championship game.

In the first two innings, Bayshore stepped out to an 8-2 lead and then put the game away in the fourth with five runs.

Sherer had an RBI for Destin in the game. Garrity and Bailey pitched.

In the final game, Destin lost 6-2 to North Springs.

North Springs put three runs on the board in the top of the first. The next two innings were scoreless with Destin getting on the board in the bottom of the fourth with one run. In the fifth, each team scored one run, and then North Springs wrapped it up with two runs in the top of the sixth.

Garrity had two hits for Destin while Murphy had an RBI. Murphy also manned the mound for Destin.

Stanford was pleased with everybody's performance and hopes the team will get a shot at a repeat performance in the future.

"They played hard. Nobody was hanging their heads at the end of the day," Stanford said.

"Hopefully they'll remember this experience and it will be something to strive for … to get back to state."

However, this year, "Just being there was kind of the prize for us," Standford said.

"It was a fun ride, and at the end of the day, they were in the pool," he said, noting they are 9- and 10-year-olds.