Moments after delivering a run-scoring hit that clinched the District 9 title for South Fort Myers, Jake Munnings did a series of cartwheels as his teammates proudly paraded around the outfield with the championship banner.
South’s 10-and-11-year-old All-Stars had plenty of reasons to celebrate after they blanked Hancock, 10-0, on Friday night at Buckingham Community Park.
“Everybody hit. Everybody fielded. Everybody just did their part,” said Munnings, whose single scored Preston Moore with the run that ended the game after just three and a-half innings due to the 10-run rule.
South flexed its depth and experience — half of the team played on last year’s 9-10 state championship squad — as 10 players registered one hit.
“Everything went according to plan,” said South manager Paul Moore, whose team went 6-0 and outscored opponents 64-2 in the tournament. “We came out and hit. I don’t want to take anything away from (Hancock). We were just a little better than they were. We made plays. We hit the ball.”
South scored five times in the first inning, which was more than enough of a cushion for Josh Ashby. The southpaw allowed just three hits, fanned four and walked none in a complete game effort.
South smacked five extra-base hits. Triples came from Ashby, Josh Ortiz and Blake Wheeler while Will Huckeby and Kyle Rowland registered doubles.
On the other side, Korey Besse had two hits and Donnie Goodman had a double for Hancock, which needed to win in order to force a second game.
South advances to the Section 6 tournament July 15-16 at Sam Fleishman Regional Sports Complex in Fort Myers.
“We’ve reached the first goal,” Moore said. “We’ve got another left.”
Reach Kevin Johnson at (239) 213-6014 or firstname.lastname@example.org