The Seminole major baseball team was rarely tested in three district tournament victories. Now comes the challenging part: winning the oh-so-elusive sectional title.
Seminole, which competes in District 5, earned a district championship Saturday after defeating Pinellas Park National 10-0 in a game that was shortened to four innings by the 10-run mercy rule.
Joe Favetta turned in a virtuoso performance in the title game, throwing a no-hitter. Jesse Tona and Matt Tharp set the tone early, taking the first two pitches of the game over the fence for back-to-back home runs.
Tona hit his second home run later in the game, and Larry Coffey also went deep for Seminole.
Seminole won its three district tournament games by the mercy rule. To qualify for the championship game, it defeated Northeast 13-3 and Pinellas Park National 15-5.
Seminole will host the sectional tournament, which begins July 23. District champions from Districts 6, 12 and 15 will join Seminole for a four-team, three-day tournament for the right to advance to states.
Last season, Seminole went 0-3 in sectional tournament.
SEMINOLE WINS ANOTHER: Save for a one-run victory over Cross Bayou in its opening game, the Seminole junior baseball team dominated at the district tournament, winning all four games to take the title and advance to sectionals.
In the junior baseball District 5 championship Monday, Seminole scored nine runs in the first inning to rout Pinellas Park National 14-4. Jacob Kiag hit a bases-clearing double to spark Seminole. He was 2-for-2.
Stephen Nobles was also perfect at the plate, going 4-for-4 with three singles and a double.
Seminole starting pitcher Christian Mischener was slowed by a hamstring injury and pulled with two outs in the second inning. Zack Kazakos pitched 21/3 innings of shutout relief, striking out three batters.
Nobles came on in the fifth to finish off the mercy-rule victory. He struck out two of the three batters he faced.
"I've got nine legitimate pitchers on my team out of 13 players," Seminole manager John Nobles said.
Seminole won three of its four district games by the mercy rule. Seminole's only test came in a 6-5 win over Cross Bayou. Seminole advances to the July 23 sectional tournament at Cross Bayou Little League.
SOFTBALL CHAMPS: The combined Seminole/Northeast major softball team went 3-0 in tournament play to capture the district title in District 5.
Seminole/Northeast defeated Pinellas Park National 2-0 in the final behind Katie Newman and Brooke McEntire, who combined for the shutout.
The victory was the second of the tournament for Seminole/Northeast over Pinellas Park National. Two days earlier, Newman pitched a complete game in a 7-4 win. Maddie Posey was lethal at the plate in both games, going 5-for-6. She batted .778 for the tournament.
In its first game, Seminole/Northeast pitchers Newman, McEntire and Lindsay Eaton collectively tossed a perfect game against Baypoint in a 19-0 win.
Seminole/Northeast continues its season today in the sectional tournament round.