The Martinez-Evans 15-16 Senior League team is headed to the World Series.
With a 3-1 victory over Virginia in the finals of the Southeast Regional in DeBary, Fla., Tuesday morning, the Columbia County squad earned a trip to Bangor, Maine, to compete in the 2013 Senior League World Series, with pool play beginning Sunday.
“We’re feeling great, excited,” said head coach Matt Brosious, who led the team to its first regional title. “It was a great win today.”
After going through the district and state competitions without a loss, Martinez-Evans, representing Georgia, finished the regional the same way. It blew through pool play 3-0, with a 6-4 win over Florida the closest game. In Monday’s semifinal, Tyler Avrett threw a complete game as Martinez-Evans beat Tennessee 10-1, setting up Tuesday’s win.
In the final game, Wilfredo Colon-Rios pitched four innings, allowing the one run and Jesse Ibarra finished off the final three innings for the save.
Isaiah Davila was perfect at the plate in three trips, driving in two runs and Elliott Melton had two hits.
The team has a history together – Avrett, Kyle Cartledge, Evan Krenz, Melton, Jose Nogueras and Luke Wiles were all part of the 2011 junior team coached by Brosious that won the state title and was region runners-up.
Brosious called the current run a total team effort, with a case in point with Davila. He was injured during the district tournament, didn’t play much in the state tournament and had only pinch-hit before Brosious inserted him into Tuesday’s lineup.
“We gave Davila a shot and it worked out,” said Brosious.
Brosious thought Avrett’s effort in Monday’s semifinal was critical to the success in the championship game.
“He threw a complete game yesterday and that left our other top three pitchers available if someone struggled,” Brosious said.
The team will play four pool play games in five days hoping to advance to the semifinals on Aug. 16 and the finals on Aug. 17.
“It’s hard to know what to expect,” Brosious said. “I think the guys are looking forward to the experience itself.”