After winning their state tournaments, the journey continues for two Martinez-Evans Little League teams.
The 10-11 All-Stars advanced to their final destination, the Southeast Regional in Greenville, N.C., which runs from Saturday to Wednesday. The All-Stars open play at 12:45 p.m. Saturday against Virginia.
The 15-16 Senior League team is hoping to advance to the World Series in Bangor, Maine, in mid-August. First, however, it will have to get through the field in the Southeast Regional in DeBary, Fla., which runs Aug. 2-6.
Half of the 10-11 team has played together for the past three summers on teams all coached by Robert Peel, the 10-11 head coach.
“This team has gelled,” said Peel, whose squad outscored opponents 53-11 in the state competition. “We’ve added a couple of players and it’s the best by far.“
Four of his players– Trevor Creagan, Grant Fuller, Joshua Melton and Brian Peel – played on the Columbia County team that advanced to the Dixie Youth World Series a year ago and created history this year.
“It’s the first time a 10-11 year-old team has won the state from Martinez-Evans,” Peel said. “It’s a historic moment in our 40 seasons
The senior team rolled through the state tournament unscathed. It dominated the competition, outscoring opponents 54-3.
The junior team, coached by current senior team skipper Matt Brosious, won the state title and was region runners-up in 2011. Current players Tyler Avrett, Kyle Cartledge, Evan Krenz, Elliot Melton, Jose Nogueras and Luke Wiles, were all part of that 2011 team.
“I think the guys are feeling loose and pretty confident at the same time,” Brosious said. “Some of the guys have experienced what it’s like to go to a regional before, so for some of them it’s not anything new.”
“Moving forward it’s going to be continuing to pitch well, continuing to play good defense, but also the little things like baserunning, being able to bunt when you need to,” Brosious said. “The little things we necessarily haven’t had to do too much of because we’ve been able to get up by a number of runs.”