Gainesville All Stars claim 10U state title

The Gainesville All Stars display their championship banner and rings after taking the Cal Ripken north Florida State Championship Sunday in Lake City
The Gainesville All Stars display their championship banner and rings after taking the Cal Ripken north Florida State Championship Sunday in Lake City
Photo by Sandra Burford

Facing the biggest organization in the league, Gainesville’s Cal Ripken All Stars captured the North Florida State Championship for 10-year-olds in a blow-out final Sunday in Lake City. 

All Stars pitcher Easton Williams gave up only two runs in a dominant 7-2 victory to take the title over the Jacksonville Julington Creek Indians. 

While giving an impressive performance on the mound, Williams also had a 2-for-2 day at the plate. 

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Easton Williams pitched the Gainesville All Stars to a 7-2 state championship victory Sunday over the Jacksonville Julington Creek Indians.
Photo by Sandra Burford Easton Williams pitched the Gainesville All Stars to a 7-2 state championship victory Sunday over the Jacksonville Julington Creek Indians.

All Star bats were brutal overall against the Indians, which are the largest club in the state and known for racking up championships. 

The 2024 championship game, on a hot, sun-stroked afternoon, continued a family tradition for Gainesville’s Mark Burford, who watched his son, Tyler, contribute to the winning effort. Burford played in the All Stars’ first state championship 22 years ago, and his eldest son, Rhett, helped the team win it all in 2018. 

“For me, this is what the game is all about,” the proud dad and former All Star said. “I played on the same fields as both my sons. The opportunity to represent your team and community is humbling and rewarding.” 

Later this month, coach Rod Malone will take the All Stars to the national regionals in Alexandria, Virginia, where the last team standing earns a shot in the August World Series playoff in Crown Pointe, Indiana.

Boys and girls of summer celebrate the Gainesville All Stars victory in the Cal Ripken Baseball League north Florida State Championship for 10-year-olds Sunday in Lake City.
Photo by Sandra Burford Boys and girls of summer celebrate the Gainesville All Stars victory in the Cal Ripken Baseball League North Florida State Championship for 10-year-olds Sunday in Lake City.

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