Both Palm Harbor National and Dunedin National remained alive in the Majors baseball (ages 10-12) Tournament of Champions on Saturday.
Dunedin National, which has won the District 12 title three of the past four years, edged Clearwater National 3-2 to win the loser's bracket championship. Dunedin National must defeat unbeaten Countryside twice to win the south division title of the Majors division. The two play at Safety Harbor tonight at 7. Earlier, Countryside trimmed Dunedin National 5-4, sending it into the loser's bracket.
If Dunedin National wins tonight, a deciding game would be played Tuesday at the same time and place.
"We're looking forward to the challenge," Dunedin National manager Vince Ionata said. "The kids believe they can win two."
Palm Harbor National is in a similar situation as it blanked Oldsmar 11-0 to win the loser's bracket title on Saturday.
Palm Harbor National lost earlier to unbeaten East Lake 5-3 and must defeat East Lake twice, starting tonight in Holiday to win the north division title. A second game, if necessary, would be Tuesday.
Against Clearwater National, Dunedin National's Lucas Krillies hit a single, knocking in Beau Marshall with the game-winning run in the top of the sixth inning. Marshall had started the inning with a triple.
Dunedin National thwarted a rally in the bottom half of the inning with Clearwater runners on first and third when Tim Sims and Steve Crawford turned a game-ending double play to secure the win.
Earlier, William Marshall, Kevin O'Brien and Woody Cockrell had two hits apiece to lead Dunedin National's offense. William Marshall also got the win as he pitched six innings, allowing eight hits and fanning six.
In other action, Cory Agar and Matt Banas combined on a two-hitter while striking out 10 as Palm Harbor National blanked Oldsmar 11-0 Saturday in a loser's bracket game.
Banas led the offense, hitting for the cycle. His homer, double, single and triple accounted for four RBI in Palm Harbor National's 17-hit attack.
Mark McDonald, Wes Buckles, James Boothe and Agar contributed two hits apiece.
Mark Ennis, C.J. Schmidt and Chris Pachik played strong defense to support Agar and Banas on the mound.
Juniors baseball (age 13): Trevor Hall struck out 17 and fired a three-hitter in a complete game performance as Countryside downed Palm Harbor American 6-2 in a loser's bracket game Saturday.
Countryside plays the loser of tonight's game between Safety Harbor and Largo National.
Kevin Campbell supplied Hall with all the offense he needed with three hits and three RBI.
Greg Olsen, Geoff Peattie, Chad Mele, Chris Turtzo, Anthony Duany and Hall added hits.
In other action, Chris Thomas hit a sacrifice fly, scoring Nick Palazzolo with the winning run in the bottom of the seventh inning as Palm Harbor National trimmed Dunedin American 7-6 in a loser's bracket game on Saturday.
Palazzolo led off the inning with a bunt single and stole second and third to set up the winning run.
Earlier, Palm Harbor National had rallied from a 6-2 gap behind Chris Fama's two-run single in the fifth inning and hits by Gerard Daubar and Paul Francoeur in the sixth inning.
Palm Harbor National reached Saturday's game with a 13-8 win over Oldsmar on Thursday night.
That win was led by Gerard Daubar, Matt Troio and Palazzolo, who had two hits apiece. Alex Varvarigos got the win while Kraig Ray played strong defense.
Seniors baseball (ages 13-15): Scott Halisky and Chris Bossard combined on a three-hitter and struck out 13 as Clearwater National downed West Pasco 4-1 in a winner's bracket game on Saturday.
Clearwater National plays Dunedin National on Tuesday night at 7 in a winner's bracket final.
Against West Pasco, Bill Meyers, Chris Overton, Halisky and Bossard all got hits in a two-run inning.
Clearwater National added two more in the second behind Brad Wyatt, Meyers and Halisky.
Earlier on Thursday, Halisky and Bossard combined on a two-hitter and fanned 14 as Clearwater National shut out Holiday 10-0.
Jamie Gilliam, Nick Schild, Halisky and Bossard got the offense going in the first inning while Chris Overton, Meyers and Halisky added key hits later in the game.
In other action, Dan Jandernal had a two-out, bases-loaded infield single to lift Countryside past Clearwater American 10-9 in the bottom of the eighth inning in a loser's bracket game Saturday.
Countryside plays Tarpon Springs tonight in a loser's bracket game at Englebert Complex beginning at 7.
Jandernal also keyed the offense with a pivotal hit earlier in the game while Matt Peek and P.J. Lavenia each contributed two hits to Countryside's potent offense. Jason Proly, Rob Hardy, Matt Santa, Jay Wozniak and Andy Goodwin played solid defense to aid Hardy's pitching efforts.
Majors softball (ages 10-12): Jessica Kurella doubled and singled to spark a 13-run uprising in the first inning as Dunedin National easily defeated Largo American 16-1 in a winner's bracket game Saturday.
Jill Brun, Trish Poliquin, Debbie Lynford and Kim Patterson all singled during that first-inning barrage. Kurella and Brun combined to get the win for Dunedin National.
Seniors softball (ages 13-15): Leslie Allen fired a two-hitter and fanned 13 as powerful West Pinellas downed Dunedin American 4-1 in a winner's bracket game Saturday.
West Pinellas, which has won four consecutive Tournament of Champions titles, advances to the winner's bracket game Wednesday night where it plays Dunedin National starting at 7 in West Pasco.
Michelle Bennett, Carli Skinner and Leslie Burdett had a double and single each for West Pinellas.
In other action, Christy Rieben pitched five innings, allowing four hits and striking out six as Dunedin National beat Safety Harbor 20-1.
Dawn Wallace, Monica Williams hit RBI triples while Angel Wilson and Jennifer Bjers added doubles. Darlene Tressger and Kate Oppenheim played strong defense.
Florida Little Majors League (FLML): Northwest-GulfShores defeated Fossil Park 18-4 to capture the FLML Minor-Majors (ages 9-10) city championship Saturday.
Bill Christie was the winning pitcher and also was named most valuable defensive player. David Barkhurst had three hits and was named most valuable offensive player.
In the past two years, Northwest-GulfShores has gone 54-10; players on that team have included Mike McKenna, Josh Newberg, Ian Ayers, Jim Ulrich and Barkhurst.
To report Little League highlights, please contact Wayne McKnight at 893-8129 or 867-8743. You can also fax information to 893-8782 anytime during the week. The information must include specific highlights of games or the season and important statistics. Please make sure all players' names are spelled correctly. To report scores only, please call 893-8201 and leave a message.