SEBRING — In a game neither team could afford to lose, West Seminole eliminated Lake Placid by a score of 13-5 in the Dixie Boys State Tournament (age 14) at Max Long Complex on Monday.
Lake Placid started out strong but couldn’t keep up with the scoring pace of West Seminole.
“First inning was hot and then the bats went cold,” said Lake Placid Boys coach Randy Harris. “Pitching failed a little bit, West Seminole started hitting us and we just couldn’t recover. We would get two outs right away and then we couldn’t get that third out. When the bats went cold they stayed cold.”
Lake Placid scored in the top of the first inning as Tay Williams started things off with a double and took third on an error. DJ Williams hit a double into the left-center field gap for an RBI double.
Hunter Martinez walked and Michael Warner lined a run-scoring hit. Quesmeal Sholtz followed with a double to left field to score Martinez and Warner for a 4-0 lead.
West Seminole answered in the bottom of the frame as Keano Suarez singled and stole second and third base. Ryan Brubach and Ethan Eggert walked to load the bases and Jaxon Mellenberndt smacked a two-run single to left field. Eggert capped the scoring when he raced home on a wild pitch to make it 4-3.
“Every pitcher that came back into the dugout was frustrated saying the umpires aren’t giving me nothing,” said coach Harris.
West Seminole tied up the game in bottom of the second when Ploch hit a solo home run over the left-center field fence.
Lake Placid regained the lead in the top of the third as DJ Williams doubled, advanced to third base on a ground out and scored on a sacrifice fly.
West Seminole tied up the game in the bottom of the third. Jake Stitt was hit by a pitch, stole second base and scored on a single by Hunter Todd.
West Seminole took the lead in the bottom of the fourth as Suarez hammered the ball over the center-field fence for a solo homer.
Eggert singled, Mellenberndt singled and Stitt walked to load the bases.
Hill hit a pop fly to right field for a single bringing home Eggert, and McKarewicz walked to force in a run for an 8-5 lead.
Bottom of the fifth Tay Williams struggled on the mound and West Seminole took off with game. After two balls in the dirt Brubach walked and several batters had base hits to put the game out of reach.
Lake Placid didn’t allow West Seminole to score in the bottom of the sixth, but in the top of the seventh Lake Placid failed to score to end the game and their tournament.
“I think we went a lot further than most people thought we would,” coach Harris said. “Everybody thought we were two and out. I think we surprised a lot of people and I think some of the boys were surprised.”