Youth baseball: Deep South Fort Myers team hoping to make noise at Little League state tournament

FORT MYERS — If there's anyone who knows the South Fort Myers Little League All-Stars pitching staff the best, it's Giovany Lorenzo.

After all, the 12-year-old is the catcher for an undefeated South squad whose vast array of impressive arms has yielded just nine runs in 10 games while winning district and sectional titles this summer.

So it would figure that Lorenzo knows who is the team's hardest thrower, right?

His answer is one that South hopes seven other section champions will discover starting this afternoon at the Florida Little League State Tournament in DeBary.

"They all throw hard," Lorenzo said.

South (10-0) will open the tournament at 4 against West Boynton Beach in Pool A, which also includes Tampa's Bayshore and Plant City. Pool B features the Panhandle's Niceville, North Springs (Coral Springs), Merritt Island and Windermere.

The top two teams from the pools will advance to Sunday's semifinals. On Monday night, someone will punch their ticket to the Southeastern Regional in Warner Robins, Ga., and move one step closer to Williamsport, Pa.

Granted, South celebrated winning the Section 6 championship with an abundance of youthful enthusiasm that would be expected from 12-year-old boys, but the team realizes there's more work to be done.

"It's very nice," shortstop/pitcher Grant Boland said, "but we have bigger goals in the future."

Boland is one of the top pitchers on a deep staff that has produced four shutouts, held teams to one run four times, and hasn't allowed more than three runs in a game.

Opposing bats have been frustrated by the likes of Boland, Ben Specht, who delivered a complete game to clinch the section title last Saturday, southpaw Josh Ashby, Danny Cunningham, Drew Dwyer, Preston Moore and others.

There's been plenty of pop in the offense to make the pitchers' lives a little more comfortable. South is averaging a jaw-dropping 11 runs per game. In three sectional games, the team walloped six home runs, including three grand slams.

Not only will South bring a wealth of pitchers and hot bats to DeBary, which is located off Interstate 4 between Orlando and Daytona Beach, but the team also sports plenty of experience under its caps.

With the exception of Specht, every player played on South's 9-10 squad that won a state title two years ago. In fact, Ashby, Cunningham and Lorenzo played on two state title teams at that age level.

"We've been there before. We have experience," said Lorenzo, whose father, Wilson, was the manager of the state title teams in 2009 and 2010, and is at the helm of this group. "We know how it is. Hopefully, we'll do good."

© 2012 marconews.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Discuss
  • Print

Related Stories

Comments » 0

Be the first to post a comment!

Share your thoughts

Comments are the sole responsibility of the person posting them. You agree not to post comments that are off topic, defamatory, obscene, abusive, threatening or an invasion of privacy. Violators may be banned. Click here for our full user agreement.

Comments can be shared on Facebook and Yahoo!. Add both options by connecting your profiles.

Features