Boca Raton 12-U Little League team advances to state

The Boca Raton Little League 12-Under All-Star baseball team continued its march through the Florida Little League tournament winning both the district and sectional tournaments.

In the district and sectional tournament, nine players pitched for the team led by Junior Cordero and Jacob Blanco, who pitched a combined 27 innings. They allowed a total of one earned run each in those 27 innings.

In the sectional tournament championship game, Cordero led the way by pitching a complete game shutout. The team accumulated 25 extra-base hits, including seven home runs hit by four different players.

Boca Raton opened the District 7 tournament with a 13-5 victory over Delray Beach National Little League before dropping a 4-3 decision against West Boynton Little League. Boca Raton then swept the next four games to capture the district tournament, winning 12-4 against the Delray Beach National Little League; 14-1 win against East Boynton Little League; 7-1 win against West Boynton Little League; and 5-4 win against West Boynton Little League.

Every player on the team had an on-base percentage above .430. Cordero and Caden Dunlea led the way with 12 hits each. Cordero hit three home runs, and Dunlea two.  Blanco, Cordero and Dunlea had three doubles each, while Pierce Midwall hit a triple. Christopher Reilly and Cade Mitchell also hit home runs.

Boca Raton then swept through the Section 2 tournament with a 25-6 victory over the Greater West Melbourne Little League and a 4-0 win against the Vero Beach Little League in Port St. Lucie.

Boca is one of eight teams that advances to the state Little League tournament in Sarasota on July 21.

There are two pools of four teams each and Boca Raton will play the Dr. Phillips Little League, Tampa Bay Little League and Destin Little League. If Boca wins the pool, they will play for the state championship on Sunday morning.

In the sectional championship game, Aden Berman and Blanco teamed up for a key double play in the fifth inning. Berman fielded the ball at first base, stepped on the base to get the batter out, and threw it to Blanco at home who tagged the runner sliding into home. The double play allowed Cordero to get out of the inning and later complete his shutout on the mound.

Boca Raton Little League President Jeff Kuntz said the entire league is proud of the team.

“Blanco and Cordero have been outstanding both offensively and defensively,” Kuntz said, “but it took a lot of hard work by all 12 players to win the district and sectional tournament, and we can’t wait to cheer on the team at the state tournament.”