The Manatee Cal Ripken 9U All-Stars finished as the state runner-up in the 9U state tournament July 11 through July 15, in Altamonte Springs.
Manatee opened the state tournament with an 18-1 victory over Altamonte Springs July 11.
Manatee defeated Fishhawk 5-4, before falling to Okeeheelee 9-1 July 12. Manatee responded with a 15-6 victory over South Orlando July 13.
Tyler Coppens hit an inside-the-park grand slam to lead the Sea Cows past South Orlando.
Manatee returned to action later that day, posting a 10-7 victory over Fishhawk.
On July 14, Manatee defeated Ocala 9-1 to advance to the state championship game. Huston Wynne pitched a complete game, allowing one run on five hits and a walk.
Manatee defeated Okeeheelee 6-5, before falling to Okeeheelee 10-0 in the championship series.
Coppens led Manatee with 16 hits, including a bases-clearing triple, to lead Manatee into the finals; he batted .583 for the tournament. Carson Goda added six doubles and a triple.
As the state runner-up, Manatee earned a berth in the Southeast Regional Tournament, which begins July 25, in Franklin, Tenn. Last year, the team advanced to the 8U regional tournament, at which they finished in the top 10 of more than 250 teams.
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Food and fun
The Lakewood Ranch Business Alliance and its Young Leaders Alliance have something to talk about: the organizations collected 764 pounds of nonperishable food and $1,295 cash to benefit The Food Bank of Manatee/Meals on Wheels PLUS.
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A little “Ho! Ho! Ho!” can go a long way this holiday season.