FORT MYERS, Fla. (July 24, 2014) – The Fort Myers American 50-70 Intermediate baseball team finishes second to West Virginia in the Southeastern Regional Little League Tournament held July 18 weekend in Apopka, Fla.
FMA lost its first game to West Virginia (4-18) on July 18 but defeated both Georgia (14-3) and North Carolina (16-5) on July 19.
“We knew our Saturday games were both must-win situations because of our loss to West Virginia in our first game,” said Rick Johnston, FMA team manager. “Those two wins on Saturday allowed us to finish second in Pool A to West Virginia and advance to the semi-finals on Sunday to face number one seeded Tennessee from Pool B.”
FMA managed to beat Tennessee (14-12) in what was a close game filled with home runs, great defensive plays and multiple lead changes.
After its successful win against Tennessee, FMA faced West Virginia again for the regional title and chance to play in the Little League Intermediate World Series, but the local team lost (6-18).
“As you can imagine, it was difficult for parents, coaches and, most of all, the players to have come that far, get so close and have it end right there on the door step of the World Series,” said Johnston. “With time, I have been able to reflect on what a special run it was for these players and the league. We were all in this together, pulling in the same direction, sweating our close games and encouraging the boys to keep fighting even when the odds were against them. Never once did these kids stop competing in this historic run for Fort Myers American, and for that, we’re proud.”
Formed in 1955, Fort Myers American Little League Baseball and Greater Fort Myers Little League Softball is the oldest league in Southwest Florida. It is home to than 120 county, district, sectional, state and regional titles, and is still the only Lee County league to compete in a World Series. Recently winning the first all-star baseball state title for FMA since 1981, the 50-70 Intermediate team has represented Section 6 in the state tournament for the past three years. The 50-70 Intermediate Division includes athletes ages 11 through 13 with the current team consisting of 11 boys, nine of which are 13 years old, and two of which are 12 years old.