Six players cranked out two hits each as the South Fort Myers 11-year-old All-Stars — so far an unstoppable hitting machine — rolled into the finals of the District 9 tournament.
"It doesn't matter where we are in the order, we can get hits," said shortstop Paul Bretton, Jr., who went 2-for-4 with two RBI in a 13-2 four inning win against previously undefeated Cape Coral National on Wednesday night at Rutenberg Park.
Three days after producing 15 hits in a win against Hancock, South resumed its overpowering display of offense by notching 14 hits against Cape.
"Once our guys get going, they don't stop," said South manager Bruce McAfee.
South (4-0) advanced to the finals, which start Sunday at Rutenberg (12 p.m.). South needs one win to advance while Cape or Port Charlotte National will have to win on Sunday and again on Monday in order to claim the district title.
Cape (3-1) endured a shaky night in the field with four errors.
"Little errors killed us," said Cape manager Tom DiLallo. "We've been playing well and haven't made a lot of errors."
But South, as they have all tournament, consistently put the ball in play, forcing Cape to make plays.
Spencer Hobby (2-for-4, 1 RBI) kicked off South's hit parade with a first pitch single off starter Bradley Dusick in the opening inning.
One out later, a long wind-blown fly by Bretton fell in, allowing Hobby to score the first run. Bretton scored on a wild pitch to make it 2-0.
In the second, T.J. Feeney (2-for-2, 1 RBI) led off with a first pitch double down the left field line and scored on single up the middle by Jordan Hair (2-for-2, 2 RBI) that gave South a 3-0 lead.
South blew the game open with six runs in the third, highlighted by RBI doubles from Corey Gibson (2-for-3, 1 RBI), Fabian Afanador (2-for-3, 3 RBI) and Bretton.
Meanwhile, hard-throwing South right-hander Travis McAfee kept Cape bats quiet with the exception of a hiccup in the third. McAfee struck out seven and walked one.
All four of Cape's hits on the night came in the third. Ronnie Hill led off with a single to end McAfee's bid for his second straight no-hitter.
McAfee was strong from the start. Twelve of his 15 pitches in the first inning were strikes and he needed just 10 pitches to retire the side in order in the second. He finished on a powerful note, too, by fanning the side in the fourth.
South tacked on four more runs in the top of the fourth. Alert and aggressive base running by Feeney paid off when he scored on the heels of Gibson, who was forced out at home. Afanador, who subbed for an injured Shane King behind the plate, topped off South's hitting barrage with a two-run single to make it 13-2.
From top to bottom, production came from nearly the entire South line-up. South's first three batters (Hobby, Afanador and Bretton) accounted for six hits. No. 8 batter Collin Quigley and No. 9 David Antonucci each laid down bunt singles. Substitute Ryan Rivera reached base in both of his plate appearances.
One of the few bright spots for Cape came in the fourth when Dusick, who was relieved in the third, robbed Bretton of extra bases and RBIs by making an outstretched diving catch in center.