Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Fort Caroline Youth Leaguers Win World Series

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Fort Caroline Youth Leaguers Win World Series

Article excerpt

Byline: John Carter, Times-Union staff writer

There's been quite a baseball-related buzz around Arlington recently -- but not about the Suns, Marlins or Braves.

It's because the Fort Caroline "Buzz" little leaguers not only advanced at the state championships and the Southeast regionals, but they also took the whole enchilada.

The Fort Caroline Buzz won the Cal Ripken World Series with a 5-3 victory over South Lexington, Ky., Aug. 15 in Vincennes, Ind.

Tyler Martin was the winning pitcher. Chris Ford had a two-run double in the first inning for Fort Caroline, which added one run in the third and two more in the fifth. Cal Ripken is a division of Babe Ruth baseball.

"When we won in Indiana, it was just a surreal experience," said coach John Turner, who devoted hundreds of hours to the team after working at his U.S. Army Corps of Engineers job. "Kids were jumping all over each other -- it was crazy. After all the hard work and blood, sweat and tears, it just felt wonderful."

Annette Campbell, the unofficial "team mom" who made the trip to Indiana, said it was a stunning experience for kids and parents.

"It was just a dream come true," she said. "When you look at the map of the United States and think of all the baseball programs across the county and think, 'We won! Whoa, this is a big deal.' The kids were crying, we were crying. It was an amazing feeling."

Campbell said when the team returned home from the World Series, they were greeted at the airport by about 75 people and a television crew.

Turner said the whole team worked hard and that the whole team hits the ball well. But he said his team's "ace in the hole" may be its superior pitching.

"Either of our two pitchers would be starting on any other team," he said. "They just did an outstanding job throughout the year and in the tournaments. They were our work horses."

The Fort Caroline Buzz team members are Tyler Martin, pitcher; Chris Ford, pitcher; Taylor Baker, catcher; Ryan Sweeney, first base; Wesley Nance, second base; Jacob Turner, third base; Josh Howard, shortstop; Trey Campbell, outfield; Walker Lockett, outfield; and Cory Hyatt, outfield. …

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