After riding a strong defense to a Game 1 win against Braden River, Manatee West clinched the Junior Division of the Florida District 26 Little League All-Star Tournament on Wednesday when its bats woke up at Palmetto High School to beat Braden River 12-2.
Tyler Reed started the clinching game for Manatee West and didn't allow an earned run. With Reed on the mound, Connor Mulhearn was pressed into duty at shortstop and didn't commit an error even as Braden River scored a pair of unearned runs.
Offensively, Manatee West used a balance ever to seal its stop in the sectional tournament. Manatee will travel to Lake Wales July 17-19 for the section IV tourney. Its first game is July 17 at 8 p.m. against the District 25 winner.
"Every single kid on this team contributed tremendously," Manatee West manager Ricky Reyes said. "On this team, every kid is a substitute, every kid is a starter."