SEBRING - The Sebring All-Stars fought valiantly in defeating Okeechobee in Sunday's semifinals by a score of 10-2 in the Pitching Machine District Tournament at Max Long Complex.
Unfortunately, the boys in white fell short in the championship game by a score of 6-0.
The win sends Okeechobee to the state tournament in Wildwood this weekend, while the loss ends the season for Sebring.
In Sunday's semifinal win, Sebring got rolling early behind its potent offense with three runs in the top of the first inning.
Chance Casey reached on an error by the shortstop and stole second base. He moved to third on a single by Blaine Garza, who also stole second base.
Casey scored on a ground ball to the shortstop by Logan McGann and Garza raced home for the second run of the inning on Okeechobee's second error of the inning on a ground ball by Dane Kelsey.
Brody Green capped off the scoring with an RBI single that scored Kelsey for a 3-0 lead.
Casey started the rally for Sebring in the third inning with one out. After reaching on a single, he advanced to third on a two-base throwing error. Another error on the shortstop on a ground ball by Garza allowed Casey to score.
McGann made the score 5-0 with a single into right-center field that allowed Garza to race around the bases and cross home plate. McGann also scored the third run of the inning when the Okeechobee defense committed their third error of the inning, swelling Sebring's lead to 6-0 after three innings.
It did not get any better for Okeechobee in the fourth inning as Solan Huter and Jake Jackson hit one-out singles. Both scored on a throwing error to first base that allowed them to circle the bases for a commanding 8-0 advantage.
Okeechobee finally got on the scoreboard in the fourth inning as Enoch Busbin led off with a single and Xavier Hernandez reached on a one-out error. Both scored to trim their deficit to 8-2.
Sebring scored twice more in the top of the sixth, highlighted by a run-scoring triple by Huter to take a 10-2 lead.
Okeechobee decided not to take their final at-bat. In pitching machine, the maximum amount of runs you can score in an inning is 8 and the best they could do is tie the game.
Instead, Okeechobee Coach Johnny Tijerina decided to prepare for the second game.
"We could not get the bats or gloves going," said Okeechobee Coach Johnny Tijerina. "We must have left them home. We are going to change that right here. We are going to loosen up and have some fun. Like I said yesterday, if you are not having fun, then you are not playing baseball."
Okeechobee definitely had fun by capturing the district title.