By Sean Bowes
New Tampa Little League’s Major All Stars, a group of boys ages 11 and 12, are continuing their hot streak through baseball tournaments, and they’re now traveling to the Southeast Regional Tournament in Warner Robins, GA, with hopes of winning big, and perhaps advancing an NTLL squad to the Little League World Series for the first time ever later this summer.
The All Stars began their post-season tournaments by sweeping all four of their District 25 games. They then continued the streak by winning all three games in Section 4 in Dade City and Haines City.
Battling through a tough tournament at the State Championship in Coral Springs, the NTLL All Stars beat Palma Ceia 10-4 on July 29, lost to Kendall (Miami) 11-1 on July 30, and beat Maitland 6-5 later that afternoon. The New Tampa team went on to play Kendall again, the only team they had lost to in the tournament, and won the game by an impressive 6-1 score on August 1.
The All Stars’ coach, Ed Thinger, says that one of the reasons his team has been so successful is because of how well all of the players get along with each other.
“This is a complete team with a group of boys who get along really well and enjoy playing baseball as much as hanging out at the hotels with each other,” Thinger says, adding that great pitching and hitting have been major contributors to their wins.
“Conor Grady was amazing on the mound, pitching all 6 innings and striking out 11, while giving up only two hits to a team that had hit 14 home runs and thad scored 53 runs in the tournament prior to his outing,”
said Thinger, “And, Aaron Guiang was no doubt our offensive MVP, batting .412 and hitting 4 home runs in the State Tournament.”
If the team wins in Georgia, where games were being played Aug. 5 – 12, the New Tampa team will go on to play in the 65th annual Little League World Series in Williamsport, PA, where it will be televised live on ESPN August 18-August 28 from Howard J. Lamade Stadium.
NTLL’s registration for the fall 2011 season is now open. Registration fees increase after Wednesday, August 17, and after Monday, August 22, there will be an additional late charge. For more information, call 994-0074, visit NewTampaLittleLeague.com or email email@example.com.