Palm Coast defeated DeLand 10-0 on Sunday, July 1.
With over 40 years of experience in Little League, Dough Berryhill, who coaches Palm Coast’s 12U all-star team, is used to barking out orders to his young players. At that age (10, 11 and 12), most players struggle with making the correct decision in certain situations.
Except for one player: Palm Coast’s ace, Dalton Roberts.
Roberts, 12, pitched 5.1 innings in Palm Coast’s post season opener against DeLand on the afternoon of Sunday, July 1. He threw nine strikeouts to one walk in Palm Coast’s 10-0 win. Roberts gave up one hit — a soft ground ball in the second inning — and the walk was due to an interference by the catcher in the fifth inning.
“He’s very talented, and he loves baseball,” Berryhill said of Roberts. “He really knows the game. He’s played a lot of baseball.”
Palm Coast jumped out to an early lead, scoring seven runs in the first three innings, including an RBI double in the third.
The 10-run rule comes into effect after four innings. Palm Coast scored its 10th run in the top of the fifth, but for the run-rule to be used, it would have to close out the inning.
However, the weather interfered. Heavy rain for the next hour drenched the field, forcing the officials to move the game from the Little League fields in DeLand to the fields at Chipper Jones Lane in Pierson, about 20 miles away.
Relief pitcher Isaac Trawick pitched the final two outs for Palm Coast, recording a strikeout on his first hitter and forcing the second hitter to ground out to first.
Berryhill was grateful to get the game in. If it were postponed to another day, Palm Coast might have not been able to have Roberts available for the sectional tournament.
“If you don’t get the right rest, then they can’t pitch in the tournament,” Berryhill said. “And he’s a kid that makes a difference on the mound.”