Destin 10-12 All-Stars come up short in Little League Section 1 tournament

Tina Harbuck
The Destin Log

After posting a big win in game one, the 10-12 Destin Little League All-Stars came up one run short to Chaires in the next two games, going home empty handed from the Section 1 tournament held over the weekend at Chaires-Capitola Little League Park in Tallahassee. 

Chaires will go on to represent Section 1 at the State Tournament on July 22 at Pinellas Park. 

Destin came out strong Saturday in the first game and beat Chaires 12-6, but then lost game two 3-2 in extra innings. On Sunday, Destin lost another tough one 5-4. 

The Destin All-Stars defeated Shalimar 7-1 for the District 1 title and a chance to play at the Section 1 tournament. Destin lost at Section to Chaires in the best two-out-of-three.

“It was a couple of tough games. We competed well and did a lot of things right, we just couldn’t finish them off,” said Destin Coach Matt Dahlman. 

In the first game, Destin came out “swinging the bats really well” and jumped out to a 9-1 lead after three innings. 

More:Destin All-Stars stay loose and ready for Little League Section 1 tournament

Chaires came back and scored two in the fourth and fifth innings. Destin scored two in the top of the sixth and Chaires finished up with one in the bottom half. 

Destin connected for 16 hits in the game with Ethan Thomas leading the way with four. Will Wortman and Cam Goins each had three. Thomas and Steven Riggs manned the mound. Together they struck out nine, gave up 10 hits and eight walks. 

In game two, Destin lost 3-2. 

“We just didn’t get the big hit when we needed it to bust it open. We had some opportunities, just didn’t capitalize and had some hard-hit balls that were outs and struck out too much,” Dahlman said.  

More:Destin All-Stars win District 1 Little League title, again

“(If) we put a few more balls in play … we probably win the game. We had them down to their last out and last strike and just couldn’t finish,” he added. 

Chaires got on the board first with a run in the bottom of the first. Destin took the lead in the fourth with two runs and then Chaires evened the score in the bottom of the sixth to force the game into extra innings. Chaires scored in the bottom of the eighth to force a third game 

“In the two extra innings, we just didn’t hit,” Dahlman said, adding they had two long rain delays and just “couldn’t get back in the swing of things.” 

Destin’s McCarver Dahlman had three hits in the game and Case Culhane, one. 

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“Dax Stewart pitched a whale of a game … pitched well enough for us to win,” he said.

Stewart rang up seven strikeouts, no walks and six hits. 

In game three, Destin lost 5-4. 

“(We) just made a few too many mistakes on the bases, in the field, and couldn’t get the big inning we needed,” Dahlman said. “We hit the ball well."

Photos:Destin Little League wins District 1 title

The Destin All-Stars connected for nine hits total with Thomas and Colton Romeo each cranking out a home run. For the game, Thomas, Romeo and Wortman each had two hits. Bentley Bailey, Culhane and Quenton Saviola each had one. 

“Will Wortman pitched a phenomenal game … had maybe two or three balls hit hard on him all day, just one was a two-run homer. 

Although they lost out, Dahlman said he was “extremely proud. Sometimes you just can’t finish a team off. We had plenty of chances and really thought we had them a few times, but credit to Chaires they fought to the last strike and battled back after we kind of punched them in the mouth first game.” 

Members of the Destin All-Stars are Bentlee Bailey, Cam Goins, Case Culhane, Colton Romeo, Daxton Stewart, McCarver Dahlman, Quentin Saviola, Stephen Riggs, Will Wortman and Ethan Thomas. 

“It was another banner year for Destin Little League in all age groups and the future is really bright,” Dahlman said.