Martinez Evans Little League baseball teams continue to keep the pressure on their opponents.
At the state level, two teams won their first two games in pool play, one team split and another district champion was crowned.
Fighting out of the loser’s bracket after a 2-1 loss to Master’s City, the 11-12 Mell National came back to win the District 6 championship. They beat Mell American 19-3, got back at Master’s City 11-3 then beat West Point 11-5 in the title game.
“It’s always nerve-wracking a little bit when you get in the loser’s bracket,” said National head coach Todd Sturgell, adding that the 11-year-old team did the same thing last year. “It wasn’t unfamiliar territory, we had been there before, and for some reason, sometimes this team works better when its back is against the wall.”
Up next is the state tournament at Richmond Hill from Saturday, July 20 to Sunday, July 28. The team slogan heading to the competition is “Why not us.”
“We placed third in the state last year as 11-year-olds and we added several pieces to the team this year that really helped us improve,” Sturgell said.
Already at the state tournament in Peachtree, Ga., the 10-11 All-Stars were 2-0 and clinched first place with one game left in pool play after beating Northern 11-3 and West Point 11-5.
Against Northern, the All-Stars scored eight runs in the top of the eighth inning, breaking open the extra-inning game which had been tied at 3 since the fifth inning.
“I think we’re the best team there right now,” said head coach Robert Peel.
The All-Stars begin semifinal play on Thursday.
In senior baseball, the MELL 15-16 team also dominated their first two opponents in pool play, beating East Marietta 8-1 and blanking Walton County 10-0.
In Junior League play, the 13-14 team split its first two games in pool play; losing 16-6 to Cedartown before rebounding to post a 13-9 win over Habersham.
The top two teams in each league’s pool play advance to the semifinal round.