Despite frequent rain showers, the three Port St. Joe baseball all-star teams competed and wrapped up the district tournament held in Blountstown from June 18 – 22.
At the 12-and-under level, known as Ozone, St. Joe faced Blountstown Tuesday at 6 p.m. Eastern time with a 2-0 record going into the finals.
Coach John Brewer’s Ozone all-stars earned their way to the title game by defeating Franklin County 8-6 and Blountstown 13-2. For Blountstown to claim the district crown, they would have to beat St. Joe twice and as the fates would have it, that is how it turned out.
As assistant coach Mark Costin put it, “We laid an egg and let them beat us twice.”
The AAA team (10-U), led by Coach Dave Walleyn, finished the tournament with a record of 1-2. In Friday night’s opening contest, Franklin County defeated St. Joe by a score of 7-3 in spite of TJ Petersen and Brenton Riley both going 2-for-3 at the plate.
On Saturday, Stetson Levins, Bo Lenox, and Petersen combined to pitch St. Joe to a 15-4 win over Wewa.
Parker Butler was a perfect 3-for-3 at the plate, including an inside-the-park home run. Easton Bartley and Riley both had two hits, with Austin Carnes contributing two hits and a walk.
Petersen’s speed turned a walk into a score as he rounded the bases on an overthrow after he continued to second. Lenox added to the offensive display with an inside-the-park homer.
Sunday’s game against Franklin County did not go as well, with the AAA players ending up on the losing side of an 8-7 score. Butler, Petersen, Bartley, and Carnes each had two hits during the game.
“It was a great regular season with an awesome All-Star group of players,” said Walleyn. “I look forward to next season with the team going to state.”
Coach Josh Dailey’s AA team of all stars (8-U) also finished the tournament with a 1-2 record. Following an opening loss to Franklin County on Friday, the youngsters redeemed themselves with a resounding victory over Wewa the next day.
Even though the team would lose Sunday’s game to Blountstown, Dailey expressed a positive outlook, saying that “this was a great group of kids to work with. They had a great attitude and a great work ethic.”
“It was truly remarkable to see so much growth over the past four weeks,” he said. “The future is bright for this young group of ball players.”