Baseball’s second season begins tonight, as the Class 4A-District 10 tournament opens at Webber International University, in Babson Park. The Avon Park Red Devils will face Mulberry in a game to see which team advances to Tuesday’s semifinals against regular season champion, DeSoto.
It’s been an up-and-down season for Whit Cornell’s Red Devils, who began the season on a roll and then cooled off considerably down the stretch. The Red Devils still managed to finish 16-9 overall, but were just 3-5 in district play.
The Red Devils face a Mulberry team tonight that was winless in district play, but managed to come away with victories over larger schools, such as Kathleen, Ridge and Tenoroc during the season.
When the Red Devils come to play, they can compete with anybody in the district, but will have to eliminate the type of mistakes that have plagued them at times during the year.
The Lake Placid Green Dragons will play Frostproof in the semifinals Tuesday, with the winner of the game guaranteed to move on to the state tournament regardless of what happens in Thursday’s championship game.
The Green Dragons had the Bulldogs’ number during the regular season, winning both games by 10 runs.
The Lake Placid offense has come to life down the stretch, as Lake Placid has won its last five games and averaged 12 runs per game during that span. The Green Dragons finished the regular season with an 11-11 overall record after a slow start.
Frostproof was the only team to hand DeSoto a district loss during the season so it’s unlikely that the Green Dragons won’t be ready to play regardless of the final scores of the two earlier meetings.
The Sebring Blue Streaks will take to the road Tuesday, as they will face Kathleen in Lakeland to begin the Class 6A-District 9 tournament. The Blue Streaks finished 3-3 in district play and defeated Kathleen 5-2 the first time the teams played and came away with a 19-5 win the second time the teams met.
Buck Rapp’s squad will need to get the offense going Tuesday, as the Blue Streaks are entering the game on a five-game losing skid, having scored just three runs and picked up 19 hits in those contests.
The defense will also need to step things up a notch, as the Blue Streaks made 74 errors on the season which led to the opposition scoring 60 unearned runs, an average of 2.5 unearned runs per game.
The winner of Tuesday’s game will face the winner of the Winter Haven/Lake Gibson game in Thursday’s championship contest.