|Connor Perez, 13, poses for a picture on hole No. 4 at the Key Royale Club golf course where he used a driver to hit his first hole-in-one. Islander Photo: Bob Squier
Junior League Islanders still seek victory
Todd Johnson Homes did all the fundamental things that good baseball teams do to record a 12-0 win over the Islanders on April 15 in Junior League baseball at Birdie Tebbetts Field in Holmes Beach.
Neither team hit the ball particularly well off of pitchers Ben Valdivieso or Mitchell Shreves of Todd Johnson Homes. The difference in the game was that Todd Johnson Homes fielded the ball cleanly, didn’t throw the ball away and ran the bases with intelligence and aggression.
The Islanders committed nine errors to offset another nice pitching performance from Valdivieso. He pitched a complete game, allowing six hits, six walks and three earned runs as the Islanders fell to 0-8 on the season.
Cory Wash made a couple of nice plays in the field behind him, while Valdivieso and Francis Bergeron collected the lone singles off of Shreves to complete the Islander highlights.
Brandon Kull went 2-for-4 with a triple and two runs scored and Danny Beeman added a pair of singles and one run scored to lead Todd Johnson Homes who improved to 7-1 on the season. Shreves pitched to only 22 batters, which is one over the minimum to earn the pitching win.
Spring Swing on horizon
The first annual Spring Swing exhibition game is set for Saturday, April 29, at Birdie Tebbetts Field in Holmes Beach. The Anna Maria Islanders Junior League baseball team will take on a team made up of their coaches and members of the Anna Maria Island Little League Board of Directors. Rumor has it there might be a soccer coach/reporter participating in the game.
Come on out and see if youth can overcome experience in the first ever Spring Swing. Food and refreshments will be served, with all proceeds benefiting the Anna Maria Island Little League. Any interested sponsors can contact Andy Jonatzke of the Anna Maria Island Community Center at 778-1908.
Duncan Real Estate remains undefeated
Duncan Real Estate easily won its only game in Anna Maria Island AAA Little League last week to open up a commanding three-game lead midway through the season. West Manatee Fire District has come close on two occasions, but unless someone beats Duncan in the next few games, there won’t be a question as to who will win the league title.
Blake Wilson allowed only three hits and two runs while striking out nine batters in four innings to lead Duncan Real Estate past WMFD 14-2 on April 12. Wilson struck out eight of the last nine WMFD batters to complete the most dominant pitching performance of the season.
Wilson also helped himself at the plate, going 3-for-3 with three doubles and three runs scored, while teammate Connor Cloharty also collected three hits with two runs scored. Glenn Bower added a single, double and two runs scored for Duncan, which also received a 2-for-3, two-run hitting performance from lead-off hitter Hunter Parrish.
Tommy Price led WMFD with a single and one run scored, while Bo Gurskis and Daniel Pimental managed the other hits off of Wilson.
On April 10, WMFD put together three strong offensive innings in which the team scored three or more runs to defeat Morgan Stanley by a score of 13-8.
Tommy Price and Daniel Janisch each went 3-for-4 and scored three runs to lead WMFD at the plate. Trevor Bystrom and Carson Wooten each added a triple and one run scored for WMFD, which also received a single and three runs scored from Bo Gurskis. Austin Wash also laced a triple for WMFD, which also received two scoreless innings on the mound from Daniel Pimental to help secure the victory.
Morgan Stanley was led by William Brusso, who tripled and scored two runs, and Kyle Parsons, who had a 2-for-4 performance at the plate. Lee Bergeron and Jack Titsworth each singled and scored one run, while Ally Titsworth and Joel Hart each scored one run for Morgan Stanley in the loss.
Pitching machine has players teeing off
There has been plenty of great AA baseball action going on this season as well. In AA, a pitching machine serves up mostly strikes and allows the young players to get comfortable in the batter’s box. It enables them to develop confidence and a consistent swing which will serve them well when they graduate to AAA and live pitching - which isn’t always right down the middle.
Though everyone is aware of the score during and after the game, AA is still considered an instructional league, so wins and losses aren’t the focus. Because of this, no standings are kept for the AA league.
Morgan Stanley and Beach Bistro both knocked the ball around the park in their April 13 matchup.
Sophi Bernet and Brandon Blanford both went 2-for-2 with one run scored to lead Morgan Stanley, which also received a double and one run scored from Neil Carper. Henery Bernet and Adam Hart each added a single and one run scored, while Jack Walter added two hits and Austin Murray had one hit.
Beach Bistro was led by Keegan Murphy, who went 2-for-2 with two runs scored, and Max Driscoll and Blake Tedesco, who both went 1-for-2 with one run scored. Sterling Louw and Madison Driscoll each had singles to round out the Bistro offense.
Bark Realty and Betsy Hills Real Estate hooked up for a game on April 11 that produced a couple of great hitting performances from both teams.
Bark’s Trevor Albers went 2-for-2 with two runs scored to match sister Anna Albers, who also scored two runs while hitting one single. Blaine Jenefsky and Christian Diaz each doubled and scored one run for Bark Realty, whcih also received a single and one run scored from both Joey Salinas and Ali Wood.
Parker Keegan hit a triple and a home run and Phillip Dudevoire went 2-for-2 with a double and one run scored to lead Betsy Hills at the plate. Johnny Mattay, Olivia Brodeur, Kobi Hunter and Mickey Ellsworth each added singles for Betsy Hills.
Miller and Magic mates qualify for 3-v-3 nationals
Fresh off of a heartbreaking 1-0 loss in the Region C soccer finals to the Tampa Knights, Martine Miller and some of her Manatee Magic teammates formed a team to compete in a 3-v-3 soccer tournament in Venice. Joining Miller were Phoebe Leo, Nicole Dixon, Erin Mulrine, Jordan Ponto and Ashley Nelson.
The girls finished in fourth place in preliminary competition on April 9, and then they “kicked it up a notch” for the elimination round on Sunday.
The girls defeated the Sarasota Storm in the quarters, Naples in the semifinals and Cape Coral in the finals to win the tourney and qualify for the nationals. The nationals will be held at Disney World July 27-29.
Karl Thomas of Vancouver Island, Canada, and Cortezian Tom Rhodes were the only team to emerge from pool play competition on April 12 with an undefeated record from the day’s 16-player pool to claim bragging rights in Anna Maria horseshoe action.
The previous Saturday saw two teams advance from pool play with undefeated records. Herb Puryear of Anna Maria teamed up with Bob Lautenschleger of Chersterland, Ohio, to defeat John Johnson of Holmes Beach and Bradenton’s Ron Pepka by a 21-14 score.
Play gets under way at 9 a.m. every Wednesday and Saturday at the Anna Maria City Hall pits. Warm ups begin at 8:45 a.m. followed by random team selection. There is no charge to play and everyone is welcome.
Key Royale golf news
Thirteen-year-old Connor Perez, a seventh-grade student at Wakefield School in Gainesville, Va., got his first hole-in-one at the 196-yard par 3 No. 4 hole on April 10 at the Key Royale Club.
Perez, a lefty and a young member of the varsity golf team at Wakefield, finished with a 37 to beat his grandfather Bob Squier. Also witnessing the shot was grandmother Judy Squier and mom Amy Perez. Connor used a driver to put the ball in the hole in one shot. No word on how he was able to buy everyone in the clubhouse a round of “drinks,” as is the custom for anyone who gets a hole-in-one.
Longtime Key Royale Club member, 93-year-old Bob Elliott, said Perez is the youngest golfer in the history of the club to hit a hole-in-one there. Congratulations Connor!
In women’s golf action, Roswitha Fowler and Cindy Miller both fired a one-over-par 33 to capture the ladies low-net golf competition at the Key Royale Club April 11. Third place went to Marilyn Thorton, who shot a 34, while Nancy Grimme, Phyllis Lamp and Marian Mulroy tied for fourth with 35s in Flight A.
Jan Turner’s 30 was two shots better than second-place Sally Mauer in Flight B. Marty Noakes and Ruth Swift tied for third with 34, while Jane Winegarden finished in fifth with a 37.
Pat Weingart’s even-par 32 earned her bragging rights in Flight C. Theresa Schutt shot 34 to finish in second, two shots better than third-place finishers Caye Hudson and Amy Young, while Terry Westby finished in fourth with a 37.
Joanne Ozdych, Cindi Mansour and Delores Jorgenson each had chip-ins. Ozdych found the bottom of the cup on No. 2 while Monsour and Jorgenson chipped in on holes 5 and 9.
Holmes Beach skateboard contest set for May 20
The City of Holmes Beach is planning a skateboard contest Saturday, May 20, at the skateboard park adjacent to city hall. There will be a $20 fee to compete and anyone who isn’t already registered at the Holmes Beach Skate Park must do so in advance of the contest. To register, youths must be accompanied by an adult to city hall to complete a form and pay the park member fee of $10.
Three age divisions, 9-11, 12-14 and 15-17 will compete for first-, second- and third-place trophies. The deadline to sign up is May 19. For more information, call the city at 708-5804, ext. 248.