NAPLES — The North Naples All-Stars captured another District 27 baseball championship on Friday night, this time in the 11-12-year-old age group.
North Naples used solid pitching and an explosive offensive to beat Greater Naples 7-1 at Golden Gate Community Park.
With the victory, the 11-12 team will join the 10-11s team at the Florida Sectionals in Fort Myers on July 24.
“We weren’t even supposed to be in this championship game,” North Naples coach Tony Repicky said. “In my mind we were the No. 3 seed coming into this thing and to come out and beat Greater Naples is such a tough thing to do, but these kids have been nothing but unbelievable in their preparation.”
North Naples received an excellent outing from pitcher Christian Tormey, who pitched a complete game three-hitter.
Tormey didn’t allow an extra-base hit and struck out four batters while walking one.
“Tormey kept them at bay the whole game,” Repicky said. “He really kept them off balance off there and I’m really proud of him.”
Tormey got support from his offense from the first inning on, starting when No. 2 hitter Matt Zino ripped a solo home run over the right field wall to give North Naples an early lead.
It was only the start of great things in the game for Zino, who finished the game 3-for-4 with a home run, double, single and two runs scored.
After getting the initial run on the board in the top of the first, North Naples didn’t score again until the top of the fourth inning when Mitch Noble came home on a throwing error.
Cameron Conroy also scored in the inning, after reaching base with a double and moving to third on the throwing error that scored Noble.
An inning later, North Naples blew the game open after Tormey reached with a lead-off single and scored when Josh Saletko ripped a two-run homer over the right-center field wall.
Saletko finished the game 3-for-4 with a single, double, home run and two RBIs.
Repicky said the bats of Saletko and Zino are tough for any pitcher to face.
“Matt is one of the strongest kids we have on the team,” Repicky said. “When he hits the top half of the ball there’s not anyone in this league that can match. Combine that with Saletko and Tormey and it’s pretty much all power.”
Greater Naples scored its only run of the game in the bottom of the fifth inning.
North Naples added two more insurance runs in the top of the sixth when Mitch Lindheim led off with a solo home run. Zino followed with a single and later scored on a single by Ryan Repicky.
Lindheim finished the game 1-for-3 with a home run, sacrifice and two RBIs.