Doral was slated to compete in the South pool but was disqualified for carrying an illegal player. Liberty City was supposed to be just one of three teams along with Miami Springs and North Miami in the North pool but pulled out at the last second when they couldn’t find enough players to fill out a roster.
The end result left just four total teams in District 8 — Springs, North Miami, Kendall and Upper Keys — thus junking the South pool/North pool setup and combining it into one division.
“Unfortunately, it involved putting a few miles on our cars as the sites switched back and forth from Key Largo to Pepper Park,” Argote Sr. said. “We just dealt with it and made the best of the situation.”
Following a 17-3 loss to North Miami to open the tournament, back-to-back trips to Key Largo resulted in a pair of 10-0 losses to Upper Keys and Key Largo.
On Sunday, July 7, the Springs all-stars took on North Miami again at Pepper Park and, even though they would go on to lose 11-1, that game turned out to be their best shot at securing a win.
“Our most competitive game for sure,” Argote Sr. said. “We hung in there and were down just 2-1 after four innings and thought we had a chance.”
But then North Miami struck for nine runs in the fifth to end the game on the 10-run mercy rule.
One last trip to the Keys resulted in another 10-0 loss to Upper Keys on July 9 before the Springs all-stars wrapped up their tournament play two days later against Kendall.
Not only did the Springs majors plate just five runs, they managed only 12 hits in the six games. Argote Jr. was the standout as he had five of the 12 hits and three RBI.
“It was a challenge for us to keep the kids positive and playing hard,” said Argote Sr., referring not only to him but his assistant coaches, Dennis Whitlock and Steve Espinosa. “I told the kids when it was over that they will learn from this down the road and be better for it. What’s also good is that the core of the team will stay together and hopefully get a few of those kids from the minors team moving up to form a really nice team next year.”