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Date of Issue: April 13, 2006

sports pic
Islanders pitcher Ben Valdivieso delivers a pitch during a heartbreaking 11-7 home-opening loss.
sports pic
Stephen Thomas carries the ball forward for his U14 Region C winning IMG soccer team. Islander Photos: Kevin Cassidy

Islanders snatch defeat from the jaws of victory

A pair of Islander errors in the top of the seventh inning kept Champ Products alive, leading to a nine-run inning and an 11-7 loss by The Anna Maria Islanders junior league baseball team.

Ben Valdivieso, who had allowed only two hits and two runs through six innings, took a 7-2 lead into the fateful seventh inning. He walked lead-off hitter Garrett Russini, but got brother Patrick Russini looking at strike three for out No. 1. Casey Najjar singled to right, putting Braden River runners on first and third. Valdivieso then induced two Sunday-hop ground balls to shortstop, but two throws in the dirt ignited the Braden River boys, who sent 14 batters to the plate in the inning on the way to an 11-7 victory.

Champ Products jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the fourth inning when Tyler Gochar reached on a fielder's choice in front of Brad McCutcheon, who singled. Dallas Downing reached on an error to score Gochar before Jake Merrill singled in McCutcheon for a 2-0 lead.

The Islanders got one run back in the bottom half of the fourth when Brandon Dengler reached on a fielder's choice and moved to third on a passed ball and a stolen base. There he easily scored on Cory Wash's fielder's choice ground ball.

The Islanders scored four runs in the fifth when Matt Shafer and Ben Paul walked in front of Joey Hutchinson, who was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Troy Kosewski brought home Shafer and Paul with a bloop single to center. The Champ Products catcher received the throw from center field, then attempted to gun down Hutchinson at third. His throw sailed into left field allowing Hutchinson to score and Kosewski to advance to third. Dengler then followed with a single to right to score Kosewski for a 5-2 lead.

Wash walked and Valdivieso reached on an error to lead off the sixth. Shafer then hit a fly ball to right field that the right-fielder played into a triple, scoring Wash and Valdivieso for a 7-2 lead.

 

Duncan extends AAA lead

Duncan Real Estate won another pair of games to extend its winning streak to four and open up a sizable lead in the AAA Little League standings, despite the season being only a couple of weeks old.

Duncan handily defeated Morgan Stanley 9-3 on April 1 behind the hot hitting of Blake Wilson, who went 3-for-3 including a double and three runs scored. Wilson also pitched three innings in relief of Duncan starter Max Moneuse and struck out eight Morgan Stanley batters to earn the win. Hunter Parrish added a single and two runs scored to the Duncan attack that also received a two-run double from Alex Burgess and a single and one run scored from Justin Succa. Michael Dolan and Moneuse each had singles on the day for Duncan.

William Brusso and Martine Miller each singled and scored one run to pace the Morgan Stanley offense, which also received singles from Lee Bergeron and Pate in the loss.

WMFD captured its first win on the season when it mercy-ruled Morgan Stanley 14-3 in three innings on March 29. Trevor Bystrom went 3-for-3, including a double and three runs scored, while Jake Rappe and Daniel Janisch each went 2-for-3 with two runs scored. Tommy Price also went 2-for-3 and scored three runs, including a three-run triple to right in the first inning. Daniel Pimental doubled and scored twice and Austin Wash tripled and scored one run for WMFD in the victory.

Joel Hart singled and scored one run to lead Morgan Stanley, which also received single runs from Kyle Parsons and Julian Botero in the loss.

Duncan Real Estate edged WMFD 13-10 on March 27 in a game that saw both teams combine for 21 base-on-balls allowed. Duncan managed only four base hits, which were led by Blake Wilson's three-run double in the second inning. Hunter Parrish and Michael Dolan each singled and scored two runs for Duncan in the victory.

Tommy Price led WMFD with a pair of hits including an inside-the-park homerun in the fourth inning. Trevor Bystrom singled and scored three runs and Daniel Janisch doubled and scored twice for WMFD in the loss.

 

Islander Thomas on championship team

Lifelong Island resident Stephen Thomas of Anna Maria and his IMG Soccer Academy teammates captured the Region C Cup in Tampa over the March 25-26 weekend. The competition, a three-weekend tournament, actually started March 3, when IMG won two games and tied one to advance to the second round. It defeated the Cobras 3-0 and tied Hernando Heat 1-1 on March 3, then came back the following day and defeated East Lake 3-1.

The March 11-12 weekend saw IMG again win two games and tie one to advance to the semifinals. It tied Valrico 1-1 in its first game on March 11 before rolling past Estero by a 5-0 score. The next morning, the IMG boys squeaked past the Sarasota Storm by a 1-0 score.

IMG played its best soccer when it counted most as they avenged the only "blemishes" in their championship run. They defeated the Hernando Heat 2-0 in the semifinals and then edged Valrico by a 1-0 score to capture the Region C cup championship.

Thomas, along with fellow central midfielder Mark Poncin, controlled the middle thanks to their tremendous tackling and passing abilities. They were helped by mid-fielders Ernesto Nemer and Adam Vining, whose tenacious play helped feed forwards Kyle Bellingar, Matt Unzicker, Carter Dorton, Chaz Heller, Brandon Rolland and Anthony Sosa.

Goalie Austin Dumas anchored IMG's stingy defense, which allowed only three goals throughout the Region C Cup. Supporting him were defenders Juan Hopkins, Jeremy Thompson, John Voychik, Teren Pennebacker and Kyle Harris.

Congratulations Thomas and IMG!

 

Key Royale golf news

Nancy King fired a two-under par 30 to win flight A in the Key Royale Club women's low-net golf competition March 28. Joyce Brown and Judy Crowe tied for second with 33, while Lois Biel, Barb Carr, Dorothy McKinna, Cindy Miller, Tootie Wagner and Penny Williams tied for fourth with 36.

Flight B winners were Barb Manson and Mary Pat Swarmy, who tied with 29, two shots better than third-place finisher Jane Winegarden.

Flight C went to Dee Bassett, Nell Bergstrom and Shirley Cessna, who each shot 35, while flight D winners were Teddy Morgan and Jean Tourt.

 

Horseshoe news

Ron Pepka and George Page defeated "walker" Adin Shank by a 21-17 score to win the March 29 horseshoe competition at the Anna Maria City Hall pits. Pepka and Page advanced to the finals by besting Ron Chance and Rod Bussey.

On March 25, Sam Samuels and Norm Langeland came from behind to defeat John Johnson and Hank Huyghe 21-20.

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