NWE finishes second
Special to The Advance
The Northwest Escambia 10-year-old all-stars lost in the championship game of the District 1 Florida Little League Tournament last week.
NWE lost their first game 7-6 to the eventual tournament champions, Destin. NWE was leading 6-4 in the bottom of the sixth inning before allowing three runs. NWE compiled 12 hits to Destin's 7.
After going to the loser's bracket, NWE won five straight games to make it to the championship game behind strong pitching performances from Justice Agerton, Daulton Tullis, Tristan Montgomery and Reid Bell.
In their second game of the tournament NWE won 11-5 over Freeport. Reid Bell pitched a complete game. Tristan Montgomery and Jordan Coon each went 3-for-4 at the plate and NWE had 14 hits.
An 8-5 win was the outcome for NWE in their third game against Crestview. They led 8-1 in the sixth inning before giving up four runs. Justice Agerton and Daulton Tullis each went 3-for-4 and Agerton pitched six strong innings for the win and racked up nine strikeouts. NWE out hit Crestview 12 to seven.
NWE defeated South Walton 10-6 in their fourth game. Daulton Tullis and Tristan Montgomery combined to pitch six innings. Brandon Freeman, Tullis, Reid Bell, Chasen Freeman and Tristan Montgomery each went 2-for-4 at the plate. Thomas Aliff also had a good game.
Defuniar Springs was NWE's next victim to the tune of 10-0. Justice Agerton pitched a perfect game and faced only 12 batters in four innings. He struck out nine of those 12. Reid Bell, Kevin Vaughan and Jordan Coon all went 2-for-3 at the plate.
NWE defeated Niceville 4-3 in eight hard fought innings. Daulton Tullis pitched four innings and Tristan Montgomery pitched four innings. The two combined to allow only six hits and strike out 10 batters. Brannon Freeman provided the game-winning hit with the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning. Chasen Freeman also had two timely hits in the game. Jordan Coon had a great game producing two RBI.
In the championship game NWE lost to Destin 14-8. NWE jumped ahead 3-0 in the first inning on base hits by Justice Agerton, Daulton Tullis, Kevin Vaughan, Tristan Montgomery and Jordan Coon.
Destin tied the game in the second inning and NWE went up 6-3 in the third, but fell apart in the fourth and fifth innings. They gave up 10 runs in those two innings on only a few hits. Several walks and a couple errors with the bases loaded put the finishing touches on NWE.
However, NWE did pound out 15 hits to Destin's 10. Wade Jernigan went 3-for-4 and Kevin Vaughan and Jordan Coon each went 2-for-4 with two doubles apiece.
Kevin Vaughan batted .490 for the tournament and Jordan Coon batted .400.
Coach Bodie Tullis had some good things to say about his team.
"I am really proud of this team," Tullis said. "After losing the first game we didn't quit. The team fell to the loser's bracket and sent home five good teams in a row to make it back to the championship game. I feel we had the better team, but just picked a bad time to have an off game. NWE was down 14-6 in the bottom of the sixth inning and scored two runs after loading the bases. That shows the character of this team. The boys were still trying to win even though they were down eight runs."
Tullis also said he would like to thank everyone involved with the team.
"I would also like to thank my coaches, Larry Gibson, David Bell, Robert Agerton and Mike Montgomery, for their help," he said. "Also the NWE fans, we had more fans than any other team in the tournament. The support we had from the people who didn't have a kid playing says a lot for the league and the community."
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