Commentary | Dreams dashed for youth baseball teams from Manatee County

July 17, 2012 

The dream of a championship season ended for a slew of youth baseball clubs this past weekend. Little League teams representing District 26 were eliminated in the Section IV All-Star Tournament held in Land O'Lakes in four different age divisions.

The 9-and-10 and 11-and-12 year old Buffalo Creek softball teams ended their seasons alongside the 9-10 Buffalo Creek Little League baseball team and the 10-11 Lakewood Ranch LL club.

That 9-10 Buffalo Creek club was the only one to have a chance at progressing to the state tournament after a 1-1 pool play record through its first two games. However, they faced an undefeated South Brandon squad.

Yet Buffalo Creek won 10-8, which coupled with a Lutz victory, meant the Section IV division was thrown into a three-way tiebreaker. The first tiebreaker is head-to-head, but the teams each defeated one another. So it went to the next tiebreaker, which is runs allowed ratio. Buffalo Creek's was 1.44, while Lutz carried a 1.41.

Buffalo Creek manager Scott Sullivan said if they allowed one fewer run in the final game, they would have progressed to the state tournament.

Meanwhile, the Heritage Harbour Manatee Cal Ripken 8-and-younger All-Star team played in the Southeast Regional in Andalusia, Ala., this past weekend.

But like their Little League counterparts, they too were eliminated from competition after a 1-3 pool play record. Playing in the Rookies National Pool, Manatee opened with a 13-12 loss to Lakeland, before beating Mims, Ala., 15-11 for its lone victory.

Manatee also lost to eventual Southeast region champ West Raleigh, N.C. 13-8.

Track in Texas

Lakewood Ranch residents Taylor and Jordan Augustyniak are head

ing to Humble, Texas, for the AAU National Junior Olympics that is slated to begin July 28.

The St. Martha's Catholic School 8th grade twins are making their first Junior Olympics trip and are scheduled to participate in the 3000-meter track-and-field event.

Last year, they competed in the National Cross-Country Championships for Tabernacle Christian School.

Taylor placed third and Jordan finished fourth in the AAU Florida District Qualifier in Altamonte, and had the finished in the same order at the AAU Area 09 National Qualifier in Miami to make the Junior Olympics.

The top five girls advanced.

Manatee PAL Camp

This Friday, the Manatee Police Athletic League will host a Mid-Camp Recognition & Sports Day for its summer camp from 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

This week is designated as the camp's Spirit Week, with various activities such as Twin Day, Caps and Shades Day, Mix Match Day, Pajama Day and Jersey Day all scheduled.

The tentative slate for Friday's festivities includes a 30-minute welcome reception followed by athletic events (relay races, tug of war, 40-yard dash, volleyball, kickball and basketball) between 9:30-11 a.m. A 45-minute awards ceremony for perfect attendance, medal count and gift raffle takes place following the athletic events. Lunch featuring grilled hot dogs and hamburgers concludes the day.

Jason Dill, sports reporter, can be reached at 745-7017 or via email at jdill@bradenton.com. Follow him on Twitter @Jason__Dill or on Facebook at Jason Dill Bradenton Herald.

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