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Three North Babe Ruth teams win title | News, Sports, Jobs

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10U District champs

The North Fort Myers Babe Ruth Baseball program may not be the biggest in the world, but they have really done more with less.

And the future of the program is looking better by the year as the three youngest teams won the District 15 Babe Ruth championships this past week.

In a tournament that had 43 teams, The 6U, 8U, and 10U teams each took home district championships, advancing them to the state championships in Palm Beach Gardens.

In a tournament that was plagued by countless weather delays and a deluge of rain that flooded fields, the 10U team was finally able to capture North’s third championship with a victory Sunday at South Fort Myers in front of countless parents and many players from other age groups.

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The 6U team was the first to take home a title last Wednesday when it overcame a slow start and blew out Punta Gorda 18-5 in a district that didn’t have a lot of competition.

8U District champs

Jeremy Crosby, North 6U head coach, said it seems every year he has a new group of players and every year they get the job done thanks to the expectations set at the earliest ages and the help of the coaches and volunteers.

“We’ve established a good community here for T-ballers. We’re happy with Laurie Sturrup, our president, and the direction she wants us to go with playing baseball at an early age,” Crosby said. “I mean playing baseball and not baby ball.”

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The 6U team has played in numerous tournaments against other great programs, which should set them up for success in the state championships at the end of the month.

The 6U’s success has funneled down to the other age groups. All but two of the 8U players were in 6U last year, meaning there were a lot of players who could expect to play for a loaded 8U team next year.

The 8U team overcame several rain delays to beat Fort Myers American 8-4 on Thursday

6U District champs

Chris Loughren, 8U coach, said he took the 6U team from last year and kept working with them, especially on the concept of hitting a pitched ball as opposed to on a tee.

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“Our team has a lot of 7-year-olds, so for them to have that success was fantastic,” Loughren said. “They went to a machine that pitches 43 mph. It took a lot of work and the boys put the work in.”

6U District champs

10U District champs

8U District champs

The coaches teach them the game the correct way and to play hard, Loughren said. There’s no base-to-base or everybody gets to hit in an inning.

Unlike the 6U, the 8U team can advance further if they win the states in two weeks. Those regional games would be played in Ocala.

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