Destin's 8-10 All Stars win Section, advance to State Tournament in Deerfield Beach
The Destin All Stars are state tournament-bound.
Destin's 8-10-year-old All Stars put District 20 winners Chaires of Tallahassee away in short order Saturday in the Section 1 baseball tournament at Dalton Threadgill Little League Park in Destin.
Destin won 8-0 and 9-1 in the best two out of three games format.
With the win, Destin earned the right to play in the Florida State 8-10 Baseball Tournament at Deerfield Beach on July 9-11.
The state tournament will start with pool play, featuring an A Pool and a B Pool. Destin is part of the B Pool, representing Section 1. Others in Pool B are Tampa Bay from Section 7, St. Cloud from Section 5 and Merritt Island from Section 3.
Teams in Pool A are from Wellington, Fort Lauderdale, Land O’Lakes and Venice.
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Destin will play Merritt Island at 7 p.m. July 9. There will be more tournament games July 10, with a championship scheduled for 10 a.m. July 11.
As for the section win this past weekend, the Destin All Stars were firing on all cylinders.
“Colton Romeo came in and pitched a four-inning shutout and hit a three-run bomb that hit the fence (in the first game),” said Destin coach Drew Espy. “All the kids came out and hit the ball well in the first game, played great defense. Anytime you shut them out, you played good defense."
In the second game, Destin came out a little flat.
Nevertheless, the Destin All Stars got up on Chaires with some crafty base running, scoring four runs in the first inning. Destin picked up one more run in the fourth.
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Chaires scored its only run of the two games in the third inning.
In the fifth inning, Chaires threatened with the bases loaded. However, Destin’s Graham Herndon made a running catch in center field to shut down Chaires.
In the top of the sixth, Destin put four runs on the board, with Romeo knocking in two on a hard-hit single up the middle.
Destin's Kingston Dey threw 65 pitches of shutout baseball in the second game. Others came in on the mound, but Case Culhane finished it out.
After the presentation of awards, the team took a half-lap with their banner to the scoreboard, where they posed for photographs.
Members of the championship team are Kingston Dey, Gavin Douglas, Case Culhane, Colton Romeo, Carter McLendon, James Espy, John Michael Fortenberry, Graham Herndon, Jax O’Dell, David Orsua, Beau Tintzman and Max Wortman. Head coach is Drew Espy, with assistant coaches John Fortenberry and Ben Orsua.
The Destin All Stars are 5-0 in tournament play, with three wins in the district tournament and two at the section tournament.
“I’m excited … got to go book a hotel room now,” Espy said.