AVON PARK – The Avon Park Red Devils made short work of the Tenoroc Titans in the first round of the Class 4A-District 11 playoffs at Charles R Head Field in Avon Park on Monday night. The Red Devils scored eleven runs on just six hits to beat the Titans in five innings 11-0 to advance in the tournament.
Tenoroc came out swinging to start the game, getting base hit singles by Daleshawn Smith and William Rodgers, both reaching scoring position on a passed ball until Avon Park starting pitcher Garrick Rowe slammed the door by inducing an inning ending groundout to second baseman Josh Regino.
“Garrick (Rowe) did a good job on the mound” said Avon Park Coach Kyle Jackson. “He gave us three innings and kept his pitch count down so we are able to use him again if needed and Benton followed with two solid innings.”
Avon Park scored once in the bottom of the first as Mason Price hit a one out single into left field. A passed ball and a pair of walks loaded the bases sending Price to third, who later scored on a wild pitch to give the Red Devils a 1-0 lead.
In the second inning, the Titans’ starting pitcher continued to struggle, walking Kaden Bryant and Jalan Gordon to start the inning. Rowe reached on an error on the shortstop to load the bases with no outs.
K. Bryant scored on a wild pitch with one out and Dawson Bryant walked to load the bases again as the Red Devils took a 2-0 lead.Avon Park increased their lead to 3-0 on a groundball to second base by Regino that brought Gordon home.
The Red Devils soon doubled their advantage as Ty Martz hit a shallow popup behind the second baseman that found the ground as Rowe and D. Bryant scored. Then on an error in a pickoff attempt at first on Martz, Martz chugged around to third base with a head first dive, only to have the ball get past the third baseman, finding his footing, Martz rumbled home to give the Red Devils a 6-0 lead.
Two more errors by the Titans accounted for two more runs as Avon Park held an 8-0 lead after two innings.
The Red Devils added three more runs in the bottom of the third as three consecutive one out walks an error and a passed ball swelled the Red Devils lead to 9-0. K. Byrant capped off the scoring later in the inning with a single into right field that drove in two runs to make the score 11-0.
During this time, Rowe pitched three innings, only gave up the two first inning hits, no runs and striking out two. Brad Benton pitched what would be the final two innings, holding the Titans scoreless on no hits to end the game after five innings on the ten run mercy rule, 11-0.
With the win, Avon Park advances in the tournament in which they traveled to play the Hardee Wildcats on Tuesday night.
Melbourne Central Catholic 7, Lake Placid 1
The Lake Placid Green Dragons hit the road Monday night to take on the Melbourne Central Catholic Hustlers. The Green Dragons struggled to get th bats going in the Class 3A-District 9 match.
“We never really got on track,” state Lake Placid Coach Harry Tewksbury. “We had some opportunities just couldn’t get the hits that we needed at critical times. Had a couple errors and walks at crucial times.”
The Green Dragons only run came when Eli Ming made a base hit, stole second, took third on a balk. Jacob Morgan knocked a sacrifice fly driving home Ming.
Lake Placid was unable to get going and fell to the Hustlers, 7-1. This loss knocked the Green Dragons out of the tournament and brought their season to an end with a final record of 1-16.