Dixie Major All Stars: Polk County All Stars Falter, Force Second Title Game
Mon. July 09, 2012 at 10:32 p.m. | By Polk Preps Staff
TRAVIS BROWN hurls a pitch for the Polk County All Stars Monday against the Heartland All Star team in the Dixie Boys' Major state championship game at Head Field in Avon Park. (Photo by LISA COFFEY | THE LEDGER )
BY LISA COFFEY
AVON PARK | With a tradition of winning, it was surprising Monday when the Polk County All Star Dixie Major baseball team lost convincingly to the Heartland All Stars 9-1 in the state championship.
A victory could have sent the Polk All Stars to the World Series for the 10th year in a row.
Instead, Polk will have a second chance to make World Series plans when the two teams play a second and deciding game today at 10 a.m., thanks to the double elimination format.
"I jinxed myself on the way here," said Polk coach Adam Kemp, who played on Polk's World Series' winning team in 2010.
"I said we hadn't lost a game in like five years," Kemp said.
The Polk County team is comprised of players aged 17-19 from Lake Wales, Fort Meade, All Saints' Academy, Lakeland, Lake Gibson, Bartow, Auburndale, Frostproof, Lake Region, and Winter Haven high schools.
A few are college freshmen.
The Polk County team, which had won two games to reach the final, struggled on the mound, at the plate and in the field.
They gave up nine runs (5 earned) on 10 hits, including two home runs, committed an error and threw three wild pitches in the contest.
They were held hitless until the fifth inning. They finished with six hits and left eight runners on base. They were also picked off twice.
Starter Travis Brown suffered the loss, giving up seven runs, three earned, on four hits over 3 1/3 innings.
"We were just being completely undisciplined," Kemp said.
Lane Crossan logged the victory for Heartland.
Polk State College's Drew Reeves, who is from Avon Park, led the Heartland team with five RBI on three hits, including a three-run homer.
Brandon Rhea also went deep.
Evan Lewis was 3-for-4 with three runs scored.