The Fishhawk 15U All-Star baseball team recently represented Fishhawk Youth Baseball in Sarasota at the Babe Ruth State Championship Tournament. The team finished as the state runner-up, going 3-2 in the tournament with a big 3-0 win over Sarasota in the semifinals before losing to eventual champion South Orlando,12-6.
The team, which practices at the Fishhawk Sports Complex, is coached by Tony Fucca who is also the vice president of the park. The team played around 20 games to get prepared for the playoffs. They won the Cal Ripken Sarasota Classic Championship in June and later went on to become District 13 Champions at the end of that same month.
Fishhawk defeated North Tampa, Wesley Chapel and Bloomingdale to win the district tournament. They threw back-to-back shutouts against North Tampa and Wesley Chapel. In mid-July, they moved on to states, where Fishhawk 15U defeated Lakeland Highlands, Taveras and heavy tournament favorite Sarasota to make it to the championship game.
Fishhawk came up a little bit short, losing to South Orlando 12-6 in the championship after a four-hour rain delay threw them off. “This was some of the best six weeks of these kids’ lives, with all the highs, the lows, hard work and dedication, they became a team as the journey went on,” said Fucca.
The team consisted of players from Randall Middle School, Barrington Middle School and Newsome High School, including Jadon Kilpatrick, Connor Paycheck, Evan Waiman, Jacob Schlarbaum, Fisher Weeks, Rocco Martinez, Shawn Banks, Justin Fucca, Mason Finger, Caden Santucci, Cade Huffman, Ben Gill and Camo Blakey. Assistant coaches included Russ Waiman, Tim Gill and Ricky Martinez.
“What I am most proud of is the fight this team had,” said Fucca. “For us to go on and make it all the way to states and knock out Sarasota and to go to the championship was a huge accomplishment.”