|Duncan Real Estate's Blake Wilson slides safely into home as WMFD catcher Jake Rappe desperately tries to get the ball during Little League action at the Longboat Key Recreation Center. Islander Photos: Kevin Cassidy
|WMFD's Tommy Price didn't quite catch up to this fastball, but he did connect during the game on two other balls that he blasted over the right-field fence.
Play ball: Island Little League kicks off season
Duncan Real Estate batted around the order in the pivotal fifth inning to rally from a 6-4 deficit on the way to an 11-7 victory over WMFD on March 18 in Anna Maria Island Little League AAA action at the Longboat Key Recreational Center field.
WMFD jumped out in front by a 1-0 score in the top of the first inning when Trevor Bystrom led off the game with a walk and proceeded to advance his way around the bases via a passed ball and a stolen base. He scored when a Blake Wilson pitch got past catcher Michael Dolan.
Duncan Real Estate tied the score in the bottom half of the inning when Glenn Bower's grounder was mishandled for an error. He then advanced his way around the bases and scored on a passed ball to tie the game at 1-1.
Duncan's pitcher, Wilson, plunked Daniel Pimental to lead off the second, but then proceeded to strike out the next three WMFD batters to end the inning.
With one out in the bottom of the second, Connor Cloharty walked. Duncan teammate Dolan then singled to right field. WMFD right-fielder Jerry Mayer attempted to throw out Dolan at first, but Dolan beat the throw. Cloharty aggressively attempted to make it to third, but WMFD first baseman Daniel Janisch threw him out at third for the second out of the inning. Then Dolan alertly moved up to second on the play and scored the go-ahead run on a passed ball.
Bystrom was again walked to lead off an inning and after a pair of passed balls, found himself at third with Jake Rappe at the plate. Rappe grounded out to first, scoring Bystrom to tie the game at 2-2. Walks by Price and Pimental sandwiched Janisch reaching on an error to load the bases, but Wilson got Carson Wooten looking at a called third strike to escape any further damage.
Duncan Real Estate scored a pair of runs in the bottom of the third when Shawn Conover lined a two-out single to right. Conover stole second in front of Wilson, whose single to right field got past the WMFD right-fielder, allowing Wilson to motor around the bases and score on a close play at the plate for a 4-2 Duncan lead.
Patrick Edwards and Bystrom both walked to lead off the top of the fourth. Rappe followed with a single to right, scoring Edwards. Price followed with a blast over the right-field fence for a three-run home run and a 6-4 WMFD lead.
Price held Duncan scoreless in his fourth and final inning, but Glenn Bower came on in relief for Duncan to start the fifth inning. After allowing a lead-off single to right by Pimental, Bower struck out the next three batters in succession to set up the big fifth inning for Duncan that saw them score seven runs.
Bower started the rally with a single to center that turned into a triple thanks to an error. Walks by Conover, Wilson, Cloharty, Dolan and Caster were sandwiched around an Alex Burgess single. Bower - in his second at bat of the inning - ripped a bases-loaded double to drive in Caster, Dolan and Cloharty and make the score 11-6.
Bower then closed the game out with an effective sixth inning, except for the laser that Price hit over the right-field fence to earn the pitching victory for Duncan.
More AAA Little League action:
Prior to the matchup with WMFD, Duncan Real Estate opened the Little League season on March 15 with a 6-5 victory over Morgan Stanley behind a 2-for-2 game from Alex Burgess that included a pair of doubles and two runs scored. Glenn Bower added a single and two runs scored for Duncan, which also received a pair of singles and one run scored from Blake Wilson and one run from Connor Cloharty in the victory.
Duncan pitchers, Max Moneuse and Shawn Conover combined to limit Morgan Stanley to only one hit while striking out eight batters.
Morgan Stanley was led by Lee Bergeron, who managed the only clean hit when he singled to right in the third. Connor Field led Morgan Stanley with two runs scored, while Bergeron, Derek Allen and Martine Miller each scored single runs in the loss.
Adin Shank and Sam Samuels defeated the team of Herb Puryear and Dean Rowe 21-13 to win a three-team playoff and capture bragging rights at the Anna Maria City Hall pits on March 15. Samuels dramatically ended the championship match with a two-ringer “six pack.” Shank and Samuels advanced to the finals by defeating the team of Ron Pepka and John Johnson.
In March 11 horseshoe action, six teams emerged with undefeated records from the 13 teams that started play, but the team of Leo Hutton and Rod Bussey came out on top. They defeated Bob Lee and Hank Huyghe 22-20 in the finals.
Play gets under way at 9 a.m. every Wednesday and Saturday at the Anna Maria City Hall pits. Warm ups begin at 8:45 a.m. followed by random team selection. There is no charge to play and everyone is welcome.
If horseshoes isn't your game, how about shuffleboard? The Anna Maria Shuffleboard Club plays every at 1 p.m. Monday-Friday at Anna Maria City Hall. Anyone interested in playing, regardless of skill level, is invited to play.
Key Royale golf news
Jean Holmes fired a one-under-par 31 to win the Class AA women's low-net golf competition at the Key Royale Club on March 14. Cindi Mansour and Diane Miller tied for second with a pair of 33s, while Marilyn Thorton finished in fourth place with a 34. Joyce Brown, Gloria Doudera and Joyce Rieth tied for fifth with 35s.
Marian Mulroy's incredible six-under 26 paced flight B and was eight shots ahead of second-place finishers Margie Jacobs, Jane Winegarden and Meredith Slavin.
Nell Bergstrom's even-par 32 earned her flight C bragging rights and put her three shots ahead of second-place finisher Pat Rice, while Markie Ksiazek finished in third with a 36.
Flight D winner was Sally Mauer, who fired a 32 to finish ahead of Janet Stokes and Terry Westby, who both shot 35.
Grace Sayles sank an approach shot on hole No. 3, while Marilyn Thorton's approach shot found the cup on No.4.
Senior tennis for Special Olympics
The fourth annual tennis fundraiser for seniors will be held Saturday, April 8, at the El Conquistador Racquet Club in Bradenton. The event, which is a fundraiser for the Manatee County Special Olympics, will be followed by dinner at the Anna Maria Oyster Bar which is included in the $35 entry fee.
For more information or to register, call JoAnne Driscoll at 778-9150.