Venice baseball on course for a possible repeat championship

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VENICE - The Venice Indians beat Brandon last year for the state baseball championship, and they look like they have not skipped a beat in trying to repeat.

So far they’ve picked up where they left off last season, getting off to an 18-2 start this season.

“This season’s been incredible. The kids are working hard, playing very well and keeping up with their studies, and giving back to the community. So it’s been a very special year,” says head coach Craig Faulkner.

They have dominated pretty much all season, but none more so than this past weekend, when they won 4 games in the Perfect Game Florida-Georgia showdown in Ft. Myers.

“We’re all great friends on the team, and we have so much fun out here. Baseball is a game, so you got to have fun with it. In mean we have our serious moments, but we have a lot of fun out here and just have fun playing together,” says 2nd baseman Colton Lightner.

They not only won all 4 games, but they won them all in shutouts. They outscored the Georgia teams 28-0, and obviously outpitched them in a major way. “I don’t think they were expecting us to actually do that this time, especially against #12 ranked Parkview. I know the last game we played we were facing their #1…so it was pretty much unexpected the 2nd time,” says pitcher Brandon Elmy.

This team is trying not to get too far ahead of itself, but they are champing at the bit to repeat the state title.

“I think we try to forget all the surrounding hype around it and just play our game. We try not to worry about the rankings and state championship and all that stuff. We just go out and play our game,” says Lightner.

The Indians are currently ranked #3 in the country in the latest Baseball America poll.