Wednesday, December 13, 2017
Sports

Little League: Plant City drops first, Largo pulls even in regional tournament pool play

Catcher Tate Whatley Jr. hit a three-run homer and doubled to drive in four but Plant City fell to host Warner Robins, Ga., 7-6 in pool play Saturday at the Little League Southeast Regional Tournament.

Centerfielder Benji Hidalgo and shortstop Christian Laird also had two hits each for the Plant City, which dropped to 1-1 at the event that determines the region representative to the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pa.

Whatley's blast was part of Plant City's four-run first inning. Cody Ginther added an RBI single. Plant City stretched its lead to 5-1 in the second when Whatley, son of coach Tate Whatley Sr., doubled in outfielder Cody Cribbs.

But in the third, starter Austin Eldridge began to come undone as Warner Robins put together a string of hits to score three times. Ginther came on in relief and Plant City ended the inning still ahead 5-4.

But errors by Plant City in the fourth allowed Warner Robins to score three unearned runs and take the lead as it evened its record in pool play at 1-1.

Plant City plays its final pool play game against Greenville, N.C., at 4 p.m. Monday.

The top two teams from the two pools move on to semifinals.

Senior baseball: Michael Del Monte recorded Largo's third shutout in its past four games as it bounced back from dropping its Southeast Regional Tournament opener in Melbourne by shutting down North Carolina representative Myrtle Grove 3-0.

Largo had shutouts in both the semifinal and final games of the state tournament before starting the region event this weekend.

Largo is 1-1 in pool play and faces unbeaten host West Melbourne at 1:30 p.m. today. The top two teams from the two pools meet in semifinals Monday. The title game, which determines the representative in the World Series in Bangor, Maine, is Tuesday.

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