Several of the Hernando Youth League's Brooksville all-star teams made strong showings in the recently completed Dixie Youth Baseball Tournament.
Kelly Underwood's Hernando National T-Ball All-Stars opened their tourney with a pair of high-scoring one-run games. They lost their opener 28-27 to South Sumter, but came back a day later to defeat Spring Hill by the same score.
The squad, however, dropped its third game 28-14 to Webster.
"The kids are all champs in my mind," Underwood said. "They played well together and couldn't have tried any harder. My hat's off to them."
Thomas Parrott cracked a pair of home runs in the win over Spring Hill. John Underwood came up with three hits in one game, and outfielder Desiree Deschamps led the team defensively.
Other members of the Hernando National All-Stars were Kyle MacEwen, Keith Milliken, Tommy Gaulin, Heath Lisk, Kyle Neal, Joshua Winfrey, Brock Byrd, Ronnie Krasnewski, Marty Jordan and Blake Whitaker. Coaches were Scott MacEwen, Steve Whitaker and Matt Stone.
The Hernando American 8-year-old All-Stars, who drew a bye in the first round, lost to Belleview in their first game, turned things around the next night by topping Lake Weir 13-8, then were eliminated by Groveland 13-5.
In the third game, Marty Schuman came on in relief to strike out a dozen batters, but his team was unable to surmount the Groveland advantage.
"We got good pitching and we consistently hit the ball hard," manager Hank Belcher said, "but sometimes we just hit it right at someone. We did a nice job out there and the kids can certainly hold their heads up."
Other 8-year-old All-Stars were Russell Damron, Robert Ellis, Hank Belcher, James Johnson, Burns Mothershed, Alex Brown, Ryan Walczak, Kyle Sparkman, Joe Trent and Bret Croft. Coaches were Craig Neal and T.J. Santo.
The Hernando National 8-year-old All-Stars started off on a strong note, downing Bushnell 10-4, but came up short in their next two games, falling to Wildwood 11-7 and South Sumter 16-13.
In their final loss, the team came back from an 8-2 deficit to briefly take the lead.
Bret Chatman surrendered just one hit in his three stints on the mound, while Michael Bedwell, Fred Oden, Ben Mitchell, and Jimmy Lee Jones hit the ball hard all three games.
"We had some great pitching and the kids played their hearts out. And we lost to some good teams. I'm very proud of the team," manager Allen Padgett said.
Other team members were Matt Padgett, Sawyer Leftwich, Jason Stanley, Ben Gavish, Ralph Lee Mullins, Kyle Ledington, Paul Balogh and K.C. Link. Coaches were Fred Oden and Tim Ledington.
The Hernando American T-Ball All-Stars lost their first game 27-16 to Groveland, then fell to Wildwood 20-19.
Nathaniel Dahmer went 5-for-5 and scored five runs in one game, while B.J. Grubler, Ryan Lamb and Mark Donato also had big offensive outputs.
"We came pretty close that second game," coach Jeff Lane said. "A break here or there and we might have won it. I know I had a great time and I think the kids did too. It was a pleasure to manage them."
Other Hernando American T-Ball All-Stars were Aaron Boyer, Joshua Gambrel, Shad Peyton, Mark Donato, Clint Grubbs, James Lane, Joshua Thomas, Jon Boucher, Adam Watson, and Jay Messina. David Donato was the manager and other coaches were Dale Gambrel and Joseph Messina.