The Martinez-Evans Little League 13- and 14-year-old All-star team swept four games to win the District 6 Junior League tournament, which concluded last week in Athens.
In the process, the squad became the first from Martinez-Evans Little League to win a district title in the Junior League age division.
MELL opened the double-elimination event with a 10-5 win against the Masters City National All-stars, then outhit the Oglethorpe County All-stars en route to a 15-10 triumph in the second round.
In third-round action, Martinez-Evans opened a 9-0 lead over Athens International, and later held off an Athens rally to prevail 11-10.
MELL clinched the District 6 crown with a convincing 11-1 romp in the finals Tuesday night against Masters City.
The MELL All-stars now advance to the Junior League state tournament, which began this weekend in Monroe. The double-elimination tournament continues through Saturday, and the champion will earn a berth in the Junior League Regionals, to be held later this month in Cartersville.
MELL Manager Doug Miller likes his team's chances of adding a state title to the District 6 banner.
"I told those guys if they play like they did in the district championship game, they can beat anybody," he said.
Still, the squad isn't thinking too far ahead.
"This group is down to business. They play baseball out-by-out, and that's what has led them to success," Miller said.
The single-minded approach is a plus, but the players also have the physical tools to put opponents away.
Jeffrey Rowland launched two home runs in the district opener, while Kyle Golden homered in the finals. Wayne House worked 12 innings on the mound, picked up two wins, and allowed only three earned runs. In the championship clincher, Matt Stark slammed the door by tossing a complete-game victory, and did not give up an earned run.
"I tell you what, they've played great," Miller says. "The pitching has been phenomenal, they have hit the ball well and they've played great defense. They really play well as a team."
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