On the heels of their counterparts, the SweeTees, advancing to the Dixie Softball World Series, the 5- to 7-year-old Wesley Chapel Athletic Association tee-ball all-star team won the state championship in Dixie Youth Baseball last weekend by defeating Sebring 16-15 with a five-run, two-out rally.
“We thought we had a chance,” said one of the coaches, Chuck Yingling, whose son, McKaide, is on the team. “Sebring was a good team, but we have a really good defense. We knew if we could make the outs, that would be key, especially in tee-ball.
“We thought we were one of the favorites going out, but the players were tired — they played so many games in such few days.”
Yingling said the team played 10 games in a span of five days, including five in three days. The team was 14-2 overall, including a loss against Sebring.
“We then had to come back and beat Sebring twice just to get the championship,” Yingling said.
Unlike the WCAA team that advanced to the Dixie Softball World Series in Mississippi, the tee-ball division doesn’t have a World Series, but the team is proud to be the state champion.
“Maybe one day they will add a World Series for tee-ball,” said Yingling, who has been a baseball assistant coach at Wesley Chapel High, “and if there was one, we’d be optimistic about our chances there, too.”
Correspondent Mike Camunas can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @MikeCamunas.