Lincoln Park Academy 3
Montverde Academy 2
The FHSI Challenge began with drama in the first game, as the Lincoln Park Greyhounds scored three runs in the bottom of the 7th inning to steal a win from the Montverde Eagles, 3-2.
The game began as a pitcher’s duel as both Josh Reynolds (MVA) and Ryan Boltersdorf (LPA) started the day with three scoreless innings apiece. Montverde was able to get a run across the board in the top half of the fourth inning though. Ryan Williams started things off with a single to center field, and would then advance to second on a wild pitch. Walks to Leo Rodriguez and Gabriel Garcia would load the bases with no outs for the Eagles. The control issues wreaked havoc once more during the next at bat, as another wild pitch scored Williams. Boltersdorf would compose himself and shut down the rally quick though, earning a flyout, and two strikeouts to end the threat.
The fifth and sixth innings saw two more scoreless frames, leading up to a dramatic final inning. Manuel Lopez started things off for Montverde with a single. An error then allowed him to move to second base. Coburn would then stroke a single and move up on a throw to put men on 2nd and 3rd with one out for Montverde. Ryan Williams would single again, scoring Lopez to make it 2-0. Drew Apugliese would escape further damage by inducing a strikeout and popout. He would then get things started for the ‘Hounds in the bottom half with a one out single. He would be replaced at first with courtesy runner Dexter Miller. After a strikeout, Boltersdorf would slap a single to the outfield to put two runners on. HE would then be pinch run for by Logan Peters. With two outs and two on, it was time for JD Stubbs to step up and deliver. On the first pitch of his at bat, Stubbs launched a ball to the right field gap that scored both runners to tie the game. A walk by Royce Neil and a single by Derek Schwimmer would load the bases for LPA. Chris Mejias would then send a 1-1 pitch to the outfield that capped an impressive comeback win for the Greyhounds. Schwimmer was 2-3 with a walk to lead LPA on offense. Apugliese picked up the win, throwing 1.2 innings of relief.
Grandview Wolves 6
South Fort Myers Wolfpack 5
The second game of the day was equally exciting, as the Grandview Wolves came back from an early five run deficit to walk off with a 6-5 win over South Fort Myers.
SFM started things off with a bang, hanging a pair of runs on the board in the top of the first. With one out, Gage Reycroft walked. A Brian Gomez single would move Reycroft to second base and put two men on. Keith Smith would then deliver a single of his own, and an error by the first baseman allowed Reycroft to score. Zac Hutchens would deliver a base hit of his own to score Gomez and make it 2-0. After holding Grandview scoreless in the bottom half, the offense was at it again for the Wolfpack in the second inning. Hunter Brown and Sam Greider each drew walks, and would advance on a fielder’s choice from Reycroft. With the bases loaded, Gomez would come through again, lacing a double to the gap to score all three runners. With the score 5-0, it seemed like the Wolfpack would take home a win on Day 1.
After swapping scoreless frames in the third and fourth innings, Grandview was able to get on the board in the fifth. A single and two walks would load the bases with one out. A third walk, to Carter Boswell, would put Grandview on the board for the first time. After a flyout, a single from Ben Marshall would score the second run of the inning. Eric Mingus then stepped up and hit a grounder to the pitcher, but a sloppy defensive play allowed two more unearned runs to cross the plate, making it 5-4. In the sixth, Tyler Odoriso used his speed to tie the game. After reaching on a walk, he stole second base and advanced to third on an error. He would then come in to score on a wild pitch to knot the score. Peyton Taylor would then start the game winning rally in the 7th. He walked to leadoff, and then moved to second on a wild pitch. After a pitching change, Taylor moved to third on a fielder’s choice. After an intentional walk loaded the bases, Marshall would come through with a single on an 0-1 pitch to plate Taylor and end the game. Marshall ended the game 3-4 with two RBI. Coley Hakes earned the win, throwing five innings of long relief, allowing just three hits and one walk with three strikeouts.
Eustis Panthers 3
Forest Wildcats 2
The third game of the day featured two University of Florida commits in Brady Singer (EHS) and Kirby McMullen (FHS). Eustis scored all three runs in the first inning and Singer was able to outduel his future teammate en route to a 3-2 win.
A sloppy first inning doomed Forest. The inning started with Jake Matulia making it to second base on an errant throw to leadoff. Tanner Clark would then move him to third base on a single. A second error on a groundball from Michael Koenig allowed Matulia to score and put runners on first and second. After Clark moved to third base on a flyball, Koenig then stole second to put two men in scoring position. A third error would plate Clark and move Koenig to third. Kerry Carpenter’s single would drive in Koenig to make it 3-0. After Chipper Coltre reached first base on the fourth error of the inning, McMullen would strikeout the last two batters of the inning to end the madness.
The two starters would trade scoreless second and third innings. After the third, McMullen was pulled in favor of his younger brother Hunter, who would throw two scoreless innings of relief. Forest was finally able to breakthrough against Singer in the fifth inning. A leadoff double from David Stromwall put a man in scoring position with no outs. Singer would quickly make that two outs with two strikeouts. Jacob Landry was able to come through however, putting a base hit through the infield that would score Stromwall. An error in the outfield would allow Landry to score during the next at bat, making it 3-2. With the tying run on third, Singer unleashed his impressive stuff, earning his third K of the inning when he struck out Hagen Samson. Forest would threaten twice more, getting two runners on in the sixth, and a man on third with two outs in the seventh, but Singer was able to battle through and earn the complete game victory. He fired seven innings, scattering seven hits and allowing two runs (one earned) with a walk and eleven strikeouts.
Leesburg Yellow Jackets 2
First Academy Royals 1
Keeping with the theme of the day, Tucker Smith and Leesburg earned a hard fought 2-1 win over the TFA Royals.
TFA managed to get on the board first in the bottom of the first. Starting pitcher Chadwick Word would make it all the way to second on an error to help himself out. After a Nick Gavin single moved Word to third, he would then come in to score on a sac fly from Kendrick Calilao to make it 1-0. The lead didn’t last long as Garrett Vathroder sent the first pitch of the second inning over the wall for a game tying solo homerun. In the third inning, Leesburg would strike once more. Both Jaden Langley and Colten Northcott would single and advance on an error putting two men in scoring position with just one out. Jason Baita would stroke a base hit that would plate Langley and give Leesburg a 2-1 advantage. Word escaped further damage in the inning by striking out the dangerous Vathroder.
The scoring ended after the top of the third as both Smith and Word pitched tremendously. The two teams would combine for just five hits (all singles) after the third inning. Smith needed just 84 pitches to finish the seven inning ballgame. He allowed just one unearned run on three hits and one walk and struck out six batters. Word was also strong in his tough luck loss. He allowed two runs in seven innings on six hits with nine strikeouts. Baita was 2-3 to lead the Jackets on offense.
Westfield Bulldogs 9
Clewiston Tigers 1
The Westfield Bulldogs showed no sign of fatigue after a long journey from Chantilly, VA. Their offense exploded for nine runs, and starting pitcher Gregory Duncan threw a tremendous game to help Westfield to a 9-1 victory.
The scoring started early for Westfield, thanks to a couple of walks, a couple of passed balls and an RBI single from Kenny Barry to make it 2-0. Westfield would get one back in the second to cut the lead in half. Dakota Jackman led off with a walk, and moved to second on an error. He would then move to third on a flyball to centerfield, and come around to score on a groundball from Fred Landrum. Unfortunately for Clewiston, that would be the extent of their offense for the night as Duncan pitched masterfully.
Aside from allowing a single to Trevor Pruitt to leadoff the fourth inning, Duncan did not allow another hit the entire game. He went three up, three down in the first, third, fifth and sixth innings, and only faced a total of 24 batters in the seven inning complete game effort. Though the two runs in the first inning would have sufficed, the Bulldogs scored seven more times in the ballgame. In the fourth inning, Robert Hahne’s single scored Cory Ciocco, while teammate Nick Render plated Michael Scruggs and Tyler Murray with a base hit of his own. Another Hahne single in the fifth inning scored Josh Meador. Billy Pickett would pick up two RBI himself in the sixth when his single delivered Taylor King and Gianni Calvo. A wild pitch that allowed Devin Kakar to score made the score 9-1. Duncan would finish the game with two walks and seven strikeouts. Hahne was 3-3 with two RBI to lead the team on offense. A total of nine players recorded a hit for Westfield in the win.
9 am - South Fort Myers vs. Leesburg
11:30 am - Forest vs. Clewiston
2 pm - Lincoln Park vs. Eustis
4:30 pm - Montverde vs. Westfield
7 pm - Grandview vs. First Academy