Little Leaguers change sites, play late into night

MANATEE -- Heavy rains sweeping through Manatee County halted action at Manatee East Little League and pushed the games to G.T. Bray Park on Tuesday night.

The District 26 Little League All-Star Tournament games did not finish until around midnight for the second time in less than a week.

Only the 9-10-year-olds completed, with the lone 10-11-year-old contest postponed, which pushes that division back two days due to the thunderstorm canceling play Monday.

Both Manatee East and North River National stayed unbeaten to set up a matchup today, where the winner has the upper hand in locking up the No. 1 seed for the double-elimination portion of the tourney.

Manatee East downed North River American 18-8 in a five-inning game.

Mason Fischer (2-for-4, walk, two runs), Cade Bonnett (4-for-4, double, walk, four runs), Connor Knapp (4-for-5, three runs), Parker Shanahan (2-for-4, walk, two runs), Ryan Blakemore (1-for-1, two runs, three walks) and Luke Bazell (2-for-2) produced the offense for East.

East plated five runs in the bottom of the fifth to enact the mercy-rule over NRA, who were led by Anthony Vela (2-for-2, triple, walk, run), Gage Burch (0-for-0, three walks, three runs) and Jordan Moden (1-for-3).

NRN improved to 3-0 in the pool play with an 18-11 victory over Manatee National. After jumping out to a 8-0 lead, NRN watched it slip down to just one run. But then they tacked on eight insurance runs in the top of the sixth

NRN's leading hitters were Zach Rodgers (3-for-4, double, walk, five runs), Dillon Sullivan (3-for-4, two doubles, walk, two runs), Logan Frasier (1-for-3, double, walk, run), Wesley Quick (1-for-2, two walks, three runs, stolen base) and Anthony Calhoun (1-for-2, two walks).

Manatee National's offense featured big nights from Chris Genewick (2-for-2, two runs, three walks), David McCarty (3-for-4 double, two runs), Austin Keeney (3-for-3, two doubles, run), Hunter Pinkston (1-for-1, double, three walks, two runs) and Paul Buechner (2-for-4, two doubles, two runs).

The other 9-and-10s game was a four-inning game. Braden River won 12-2 over Manatee American.

Oliver Kightlinger (2-for-4, run), Henry Nelson (1-for-2, run), Drew Jankowski (2-for-2, double, two runs), Kyle Metters (1-for-1, run) and Chandler Brown (1-for-3, double, run) led the attack.

American's Michael Hennessy went 2-for-3 with a double in the loss.

The tournament continues today with games starting at 7 p.m. barring any inclement weather or scheduling changes.