Plant City Little League team takes state title
PLANT CITY - The Little Leaguers took the state championship in their age level for the second year. Plant City's team for 10- and 11-year-olds sealed the title with a 13-2 victory over Cape Coral. "I couldn't be happier for the kids," said coach T.J. Messick. "They have worked hard." Plant City was undefeated for two seasons in a row until a 5-2 loss Sunday to Tennessee in the Tournament of State Champions for the Southeast. As 9- and 10-year-olds, they won the Southeast tournament — the highest possible achievement for their age level.Plant City beat Virginia 9-1 on Monday and were scheduled to play Tuesday in the semifinal game. The final tournament game is today. With the exception of one player, the team's lineup remained the same as in 2011, said Messick, who continued to coach the team as it moved up to the next age bracket. Messick said he was elated at the back-to-back state titles. And the consecutive trips to the Southeast tournament were unprecedented in Plant City Little League, he said. The Southeast tournament in Greenville, N.C., included state Little League champions from Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia. Players on the Plant City team include Bryar Christian, Hunter Emerine, J.J. Gonzalez, Andrew Long, Parker Messick, Ben Pues, Braxton Punk, Dylan Robinson, Connor Rogers, Cade Shissler and Jake Stines. Coaches included Messick, Casey Christian and Steve Shissler.
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