Local Sports

Sebring rolls in Machine tourney

The Sebring Machine Pitch All-Stars traveled six hours on Friday to participate in the 2014 Florida Dixie Youth Baseball Machine Pitch (ages 7-8) State Tournament in Marianna.

The boys in blue won all three games, defeating Bushnell (11-1), West Seminole (20-11), and Sneads, respectively, in a lengthy day of baseball that ran nearly 12 hours. Sebring played two games on Sunday at 3 p.m. and 7. Results were not available at press time.

Rhett Vaughn had the biggest day of any Sebring player, going seven for nine at the plate, belting three singles, one double, two triples, and inside-the-park home run for a total of six RBI across the three games.

In the opener against Bushnell, Sebring used its talented defense to stifle Bushnell, allowing the squad one run off of a solo blast. Sebring, however, was prolific at the plate, belting 11 runs to cruise into game two. Sebring’s Rhett Vaughn guided the offense,

Game two pitted bitter Sebring against its bitter rival, West Seminole. Clayton Evans and George Sebring both had good outings offensively, as the duo combined eight hits in 11 at-bats. Jayden Garrett also had a big game against West Seminole, going four for four with four singles and two RBI.

In the second inning, Garret, who plays shortstop made a stellar defensive play. Laying out in the dirt for the ball, he made the throw from his knees to third for a critical out.

After the fourth inning, the game was close with Sebring holding a slight edge of 8-7. But Sebring managed four runs in the fifth and held West Seminole to two, making the score 11-9.

In the top of the sixth inning, Sebring’s bats came alive again. Zain Carmichael hit a ball to the fence for a triple and two RBI. Carmichael also showed off his base running skills when he came out on the positive end of a pickle. He was back and forth between second and third as if he was playing monkey in the middle. When he saw his opening, he made a dive for third and was safe.

The Sebring offense exploded in the sixth. The team scored eight runs to widen their lead to 20-9. Sebring held fast on defense, allowing two runs, but held on for the win.

By game three, the boys and the parents were exhausted. The sky was threatening a storm and everyone was hoping it would just hold off for another couple of hours. The game started just after 7 p.m., almost 11 hours after the game against Bushnell began, and strangely enough the boys all entered the field with a new found energy.

Sebring was the visiting team against, and the boys in blue struggled offensive in the early going. Sneads’ defense was able to manage five batters up and three down, but not before Sebring scored two runs.

Sebring’s defense took to the field and made light work of the four batters up and three down. Sebring scored only one run in the second, but held Sneads to one as well.

In the third inning Aiden Wyatt hit a double two plate two runs. Sebring used the momentum to score seven runs in the top of the third and held the opposing team to zero that inning with three batters up and three down. The defense took over from there, when catcher Brody Green showed off his skills when he picked off a Sneads runner off at first with an excellent throw right to first baseman, Ezera Jackson.

In the top of the fourth, Sebring scored five runs to take a commanding 15-1 lead. If Sebring Sneads in the bottom of the inning, the game end on mercy rules.

Sebring’s Cody Littlefield, who is often teased for being a ball magnet, was moved from center field to second base. This proved true when the first two batters hit fly balls right to him. Littlefield made the first two outs of the inning and helped in closing out the game as Sebring retired the side.