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East County Wednesday, Jul. 28, 2010 7 years ago

Little Leaguers used to winning ways

by: Jen Blanco Sports Editor

LAKEWOOD RANCH — Twelve-year-old Trevor Myers and the rest of his Manatee East Little League All-Star teammates have become accustomed to all of the attention that comes along with being an All-Star.

The Braden River Middle School seventh-grader has made Manatee East’s All-Star team each of the past three seasons — a feat achieved by only a handful of players.

"It makes me feel good knowing the coaches think I’m good at baseball,” Myers said. “It makes you feel good inside.”

Although, for Myers, it’s not simply having been named a three-time All-Star that has made the last three years memorable. He and five of his teammates — Matt Ambrosino, Anthony Bernardez, Carson Jungers, Kyle Thoma and Shane Zipperer — also have won District 26 Little League Tournament titles each of the past three seasons.

Most recently, the players captured their third-consecutive district title with a 13-3 victory over Manatee West July 16, wrapping up a 7-1 season.

“I was quite shocked because we were down the whole game, and then we scored a lot of runs in the fifth and sixth innings to win the game — so I was definitely surprised,” Myers said.

Thoma, who led the team in batting average (.444) and on base percentage (.600), agreed.

“I was happy to win for a third time, especially with it being my last season on a small field,” the Nolan Middle School seventh-grader said. “To be selected and represent Manatee East Little League in All-Stars three years in a row is an honor because there are a lot of good players in our league.”

With the win, the team advanced to the Section 4 Tournament July 24-25 in Bloomingdale. Manatee East posted a 2-1 record with victories over East Bay American (8-2) and Plant City (19-16). The team’s only loss of the tournament came at the hands of Section 4 champion Land O’Lakes (10-5).

The six three-time district champions, the majority of which have been playing together since they were in T-ball, captured their first district title three years ago as 9- and 10-year-old All-Stars, posting a perfect 6-0 record.

“The 9- and 10-year-old championship was the most (memorable) because it was my first experience in All-Stars,” Thoma said.

A year later, the players were once again selected to represent Manatee East in the District 26 Little League All-Star Tournament. The team posted a perfect 8-0 record on the way to its second-consecutive district title.

“The most memorable championship for me was the second one because I got to play more and I felt more like I was part of the team that year,” said Myers, who played second base and in the outfield last year.

This season, the players nearly wrapped up their third-consecutive perfect season — their lone loss a 5-4 decision against Braden River July 9.

“I think we’ve won every year because we have a lot of good talent,” Myers said. “Our pitching is good. Our defense is good and we hit the ball well.”

Thoma agreed.

“Our league is very competitive and we push each other to the best of our ability,” he said.

Now, with their third district championship under their belts, the six Manatee East Little League All-Stars will prepare for travel ball and the spring season where they’ll move up to the Junior division and the larger fields in preparation for high school baseball.

Contact Jen Blanco at [email protected].

Three-time All-Star District 26 Champions
Matt Ambrosino: First base, catcher and pitcher; .389 batting average and .389 on-base percentage
Anthony Bernardez: Second base; .267 batting average and .500 on-base percentage
Carson Jungers: Outfield; .300 on-base percentage
Trevor Myers: Outfield; .300 on-base percentage
Kyle Thoma: Outfield and pitcher; .444 batting average and .600 on-base percentage
Shane Zipperer: Third base and outfield; .421 batting average and .522 on-base percentage

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