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Armstrong Places 93 Student-Athletes on PBC Presidential Honor Roll
June 28, 2016
SAVANNAH, Ga. - The Armstrong State University athletic department placed 93 - or 58% of all of the Pirate student-athletes - on the Peach Belt Conference's Presidential Honor Roll for 2015-16, announced today by conference officials. Student-athletes must maintain a 3.00 GPA or higher (on a 4.00 scale) for the entire 2015-16 academic year to be honored.
It's the third year out of the last four that Armstrong State has had 90 or more Presidential Honor Roll honorees. Eight student-athletes - softball player Peyton Roth; women's soccer players Candace Cosby, Taylor Valley and Taylor Russell; baseball players Corey Crunk, Cody Sherlin and Tyler Green as well as volleyball player Kayla Berns - earned the honor all four years as a Pirate.
In all, 1,630 student-athletes were named to the PBC Presidential Honor Roll from the 14 league schools, the seventh straight year in which more than 1,000 student-athletes were honored and a new high for the league.
For the eighth straight year, the honor roll has been divided into four groups: Presidential Scholars, Bronze Scholars, Silver Scholars and Gold Scholars. All student-athletes with a GPA of 3.00 to 3.24 are Presidential Scholars, while Bronze Scholars are 3.25 to 3.49; Silver 3.50 to 3.74 and the Gold scholars are those with a 3.75 to 4.00 GPA.
Armstrong State University's Peach Belt Conference Presidential Honor Roll honorees for 2015-16 are (times named to the Honor Roll are in parenthesis):
Gold Scholars: Randi Schroedel (2), Alli Litchfield (3), Ashley Green (2), Olivia DeJong (2), Brendie Rockholt, Paige Gocke (3), Peyton Roth (4), Savanna Gladue (3), Tori Bates (3), Henning Schein (2), Grant MacNeil, Otakar Lucak (2), Erica Laurens (3), Iva Scepanovic (2), Jane Trzaska (3), Carolina Prats-Millan (3), Candace Cosby (3), Carley Eiken (2), Diana Stomlega (2), Lindsay Stewart (2), Kayla Berns (4), Amanda Green (2), Zack Goble (1), Erin Berube (3), Tyler Green (4), Ashley Sterritt (2), Kristi Vaughn (2), Martha Trimbach, Taylor Russell (4), Kennedi Herrmann (3).
Silver Scholars: Sophie Bargeron (2), Hannah Reppert (2), Annie Chandler, Pamela Mosley (3), Luca Cerin (3), Morgan Luckie (3), Jenny Allen (2), Kim Brody (2), Kailey Goins (3), Lexy Schoonover (2), Anna McGee (2), Lena Pacholski, Taylor Snell, Marek Pesicka (2), Spencer Harvey, Justin Adkins, Taylor Valley (4), Ryan Lawless, Parker Schroedel, Asa Thorsen, Lena Lutzeier (2), Tiara Baker.
Bronze Scholars: Nicole Fossa Huergo (2), Shelby Drittler, Brigitta Barta (3), Jaycee Bunner, Michelle Allen (2), Nathalia Baigorria (2), Ryan Patterson (3), McKenzie Anderson (2), Bailey Buie, Michelle Breen (2), Isabel Fabacher (2), Reid Rathburn, Tyler Key, Josh Glossop, Corey Crunk (4), Jacob Tinsley (2), Machala Raymonville (2), Madison Sox (2), George Brown (3), Will Austin, Shema Sabiiti (2), Witalij Martynow, Brittany Hereth (3).
Presidential Scholars: Cody Sherlin (4), Jessica Doyle, Alejandra Cisneros, Deundria Clark, Gustav Beckvid, Nick Scott (2), Macy Coleman, Lexie Stohr, Andrew Burgess, Sierra Newman, Sid Royal, Brooke Standard (2), Sarah Olin, Sierra Peebles, Brian Brown, Jamie Thaggard.
THIS WEEK IN BEAR BASEBALL
June 27, 2016
Summer baseball for the PCHS Bears and all-star baseball for the Pierce County Parks and Recreation all-star teams is over but we still have some youth tournaments being played as well as our college players (Ganon Graham and Stetson Smith) and our minor league player (Will Lowman) to cheer on for a while.
UPDATED 06/28/16: PCHS 2015 graduate Stetson Smith (Armstrong State University) and the DeLand Suns will play a two game series with the Winter Park Diamond Dawgs (Monday-Tuesday), a single game with the Altamonte Springs Boom (Wednesday), a two game series with the Sanford River Rats (Thursday-Friday) and finishing the week with a single game against the Dawgs (Saturday). Check back daily for game updates.
Monday: The Suns kept up the wins by defeating the Diamond Dawgs by a score of 9-3.
Tuesday: The Suns (11-8-0) and the Dawgs (7-12-0) scrapped through twelve innings before the Dawgs busted it out in the top of the thirteenth scoring five more runs defeating DeLand by a score of 10-5. Stetson had one RBI in the game which you can read about in the article listed below.
Wednesday: After a disastrous outing last night, the Suns bounced back by defeating the Boom by a score of 6-2.
UPDATED 06/29/16: PCHS 2015 graduate Ganon Graham and his Florida JUCO League Mustangs have a busy week with games against the Falcons on Monday, Mavericks on Tuesday the Rangers on Wednesday and finishing the week up with the Falcons on Thursday. Check back daily for game updates.
Monday: The Mustangs (11-6-1) kept their eight game winning streak intact with a 5-0 shutout of the Falcons (10-8-0).
Tuesday: The Mustangs (11-6-2) winning streak has ended as they fought back to tie the Mavericks (12-6-2) in today's contest. Ganon pitched the complete seven inning match-up giving up three earned runs on five hits while issuing two walks and six strike outs.
Wednesday: The Mustangs (12-6-2) got back in the win column by defeating the Rangers (3-18-0) by a score of 1-0.
UPDATED 06/29/16: Up in Montana, PCHS 2012 graduate Will Lowman and his Missoula Osprey’s will continue to try and turn around their rough start to the 2016 Minor League Baseball’s Pioneer League season. The O’s will start a three game road trip series with the Helena Brewers (Monday-Wednesday) and then host Helena for three games (Thursday-Saturday). Check back daily for game updates.
Monday: Three homeruns just wasn't enough to keep to O's (3-8) in contention as they lost again by a score of 11-3 to the Brewers (7-4). Will pitched one inning giving up a hit and two walks but no runs during his outing.
Tuesday: The Osprey (3-9) fell short again as Helena (8-4) moved ahead in the sixth inning winning by a score of 4-2.
Wednesday: Missoula slipped back into the win column by defeating the Brewers by a score of 10-3.
On Saturday, the 8-U Pierce County Cubs will compete in the Peach State Diamond Sports tournament to be held at the Pierce County Parks and Recreation Department in Blackshear. Game times will not be available until Thursday morning so back then for updated information.
As always, Go Bears!
Marathon Game Ends the Suns Winning Streak
June 28, 2016
DELAND, Fla. – It took a marathon game to end the winning streak of the DeLand Suns, as they fall to the Winter Park Diamond Dawgs 9-5.
DeLand jumped out in front with another routine fast start, but the offense fizzled after the third inning. The Suns scored two runs in the first inning as a result of Matthew Mulkey (Winthrop) battling back from an 0-2 count to earn himself a lead-off walk. A couple of batters later, Jay Hayes (FGCU) stepped into the box and worked his way to a single that drove in Mulkey. Joe Dudek (Kentucky), the very next batte, ushered Jay back to the dugout with a screaming single adding to his league-leading 20 RBI.
Dudek, of course, was not finished on the day as he drove in Chandler Rodriguez (Santa Fe) with his second single of the game in the third inning — Rodriguez reached on an error in the previous at-bat. Brett Brubaker (Mars Hill) later obliged Dudek’s effort in the inning by bringing him in with a single. Stetson Smith (Armstrong State) delivered a sac fly in the inning, scoring Garrett Hall (State College of Florida) to give DeLand its fifth run of the game.
Brady Mintell (Webber International) got the start for the Suns, and he pitched six innings. During those innings he only allowed two runs while he struck out three batters. Drew Montero (Missouri Baptist) and Vincent Rosace (Embry Riddle) both made appearances in the seventh inning where things got a little interesting as the Dawgs scored three runs to tie the game. Byron Ferguson (King), normally in the role of the closer, was asked to work a bit harder tonight and he rose to the occasion. Ferguson pitched 4-2/3 no-hit innings and struck out five batters in the process.
As a result of a game that lasted more than four hours, the bullpen was bound to become thin at some point. It reached the point where the question became, “Who hasn’t had a turn yet?” Infielder Derek Deler (Mount Olive) even made an appearance on the mound late in the 13th inning.
The Suns take their show on the road as they travel to Altamonte Springs on Wednesday June 29th to the play the Boom in their first game at Lake Brantley High School.
Suns Sweep Winter Garden, Move into Second Place
June 26, 2016
WINTER GARDEN, FLA.- The DeLand Suns completed the sweep of the Winter Garden Squeeze on Sunday night with an 18-3 win at West Orange High School. This was the Suns’ biggest offensive performance of the season.
The win puts the Suns at 10-7 on the summer and drops the Squeeze to 8-9. The Squeeze came into the series one game ahead of the Suns in the standings, but now DeLand leads by two games.
Chandler Rodriguez (Santa Fe), Jay Hayes (FGCU) and Logan Blum (UCF) all played their best games of the season to lead the Suns to their fourth straight win. The three combined for 10 hits, two home runs and 14 RBIs.
Tyler Marshall (Kentucky) singled to open the game in his third straight start. On the very next batter, Stetson Smith (Armstrong State) chopped a ball to the shortstop for a potential double play. Pablo Cabrera’s throw was offline and Marshall turned awkwardly by the second base bag. Both were safe on the error but Marshall left the game, and Rodriguez replaced him.
Rodriguez scored on a sacrifice fly by Joe Dudek (Kentucky) and Blum drove in Smith from second with a single up the middle with two outs. For the fourth consecutive game, the Suns were on the board in the first and gave Albert Neff (Seminole State) a 2-0 lead.
Winter Gaden starter Chase Pilato’s day ended in the second inning after allowing the first three runners to reach and a two-run double by Hayes. After the second intentional walk to Dudek in the series, Brett Brubaker (Mars Hill) singled in a run to stretch the lead to 5-0.
The Suns added three more runs in the second on a two-run single by Blum — his second and third RBIs of the game — and then a sacrifice fly from Derek Deler (Mars Hill). Neff downed the Squeeze in order in the bottom half of the inning and the Suns took complete control of the game.
After another run in the third for the Suns, the Squeeze scored three runs in the bottom half off two Suns errors, but Neff kept his composure and continued into the fifth inning. At the end of four, it was 9-3 Suns.
Rodriguez blasted a three-run home run, his first of the season, in the sixth inning to give the Suns a 13-3 lead. Winter Garden made a pitching change before Rodriguez’s at bat, and he hit Joshua Jimenez’s first pitch over the fence in left-center. Smith followed the homer with a double and scored on the next at bat when Hayes reached base on an error.
Blum picked up his fifth RBI of the game with his fourth single in the sixth inning. That was the Suns’ 12th hit of the game and it pushed across their 15th run. At the end of sixth the Suns opened the door for the run-rule and led 15-3.
Drew Montero (Missouri Baptist) replaced Neff to begin the sixth inning. Neff allowed one earned run in his five innings of work and put himself in line for his first win of the summer.
The Suns solidified the run-rule victory with three runs in the seventh inning. Rodriguez drove in Matthew Mulkey (Winthrop) with a single and Hayes cleared the bases with his first home run of the season. The Suns led 18-3 and Byron Ferguson (King) sealed the sweep in the bottom of the seventh out of the bullpen.
Blum finished the game 4-for-4 with four singles, a hit by pitch and five RBIs. Rodriguez was 3-for-4 off the bench with two singles, a home run and four RBIs, and Hayes was a triple shy of the cycle with five RBIs and a 3-for-6 night at the plate.
Mulkey scored three runs and picked himself out of a slump with two hits, including a hard-hit double off the wall in right field.
DeLand now has sole possession of second place in the Florida Collegiate Summer League standings and sits two games back of the first place Sanford River Rats. The Suns have won seven of their last eight games and their offense is playing the best that it’s been all season.
The Suns begin their full week of games with their third straight road game on Monday night. DeLand will take on the Winter Park Diamond Dawgs at 7 p.m. at Bishop Moore Catholic High School. The Suns will play the Diamond Dawgs three times this week: Monday at Winter Park, Tuesday at home and Saturday at home. Winter Park holds a 2-1 season-series lead on the Suns.
THIS WEEK IN BEAR BASEBALL
June 20, 2016
During week four of the summer baseball program, most of the PCHS Bears will be travelling to the campus of Georgia Southern University in Statesboro from Tuesday-Thursday to attend the Fellowship of Christian Athletes summer baseball camp. The FCA Camp takes the best attributes of an athletic-focused camp and a spiritual-focused camp and combines them into an athletic/spiritual experience like none other. FCA Camp removes athletes and coaches from the rut and routine of their sport, friends/co-workers and community and places them into an exciting, healthy, athletic environment that allows them to pursue their passion for sport and clearly see and hear the Christ’s passion for them.
Representing the Pierce County Parks and Recreation Department’s all-star teams, the 8-U team will be travelling to the Jeff Davis County Recreation Complex to compete in the GRPA Class C Flea Boys District Tournament. Pierce will take the field at 10:00 a.m. on Friday to face Charlton County. The winner plays again at 4:00 p.m. while the loser waits until Saturday at 10:00 a.m. for the elimination game. The schedule will vary as Pierce wins or loses so you will have to check back nightly to see what the next day brings.The 8-U team is coached by David Dowling, Drew Aspinwall and Scott Williams. The players are Beau Aspinwall, Drake Dowling, Troy Hall, Dylan Johnson, Houston Johnson, K'don Lashley, Zachary Lee, Brelon Moore, Ryan Pittman, Johnathan Stone and Chance Williams.
Game 1 ended by mercy rule as Pierce defeated Charlton by a score of 21-1.
Game 2 was won by Pierce as defeated Long County by a score of 20-5.
Game 3 against Jeff Davis was a thriller but at the end Jeff Davis was the winner by a score of 17-14 sending Pierce to the elimination bracket.
Game 4 against Long County was a huge heart breaker Pierce jumped out to a huge lead but Long County kept on playing until the final out and when all was said and done, Long was victorious by a score of 14-13 eliminating Pierce from the tournament.
Representing the Pierce County Parks and Recreation Department’s all-star teams, the 10-U team will be travelling to the Jeff Davis County Recreation Complex to compete in the GRPA Class C Mite Boys Live-Pitch District Tournament. Pierce will take the field at 1:30 p.m. on Friday to face Brantley County #2. The loser plays again at 4:30 p.m. while the winner advances to Saturday at 12:00 p.m. The schedule will vary as Pierce wins or loses so you will have to check back nightly to see what the next day brings. The 10-U team is coached by Jeff Sloan and Mark Royer. The players include Maverick Bennett, Dylan Figueroa, Asher Fyffe, Seth Hunt, Spencer Hutchinson, Cole Royer, Carson Sloan, Brak Strickland, Caden Williams, Brice Williamson and Benjamin Young.
Game 1 was won by Pierce County as the Bears defeated Brantley #2 by a score of 8-2.
Game 2 was not kind to Pierce as we suffered a huge loss to North Bryan by a score of 16-4 sending Pierce to the elimination bracket.
Game 3 against Brantley #1 was no better as Brantley ended Pierce's hopes of continuing as the Herons won by a score of 8-3 sending Pierce County back to Blackshear.
Representing the Pierce County Parks and Recreation Department’s all-star teams, the 12-U team will be travelling to the Jeff Davis County Recreation Complex to compete in the GRPA Class C Midget Boys District Tournament. Pierce will take the field at high noon on Friday to face McIntosh County. The loser plays again at 10:00 a.m. Saturday while the winner advances to Saturday at 2:00 p.m. The schedule will vary as Pierce wins or loses so you will have to check back nightly to see what the next day brings. The 12-U team is coached by Loran Tuten and Jayk Graham. The players include Allen Boatright, Kam Boyd, Jake Davis, Klyne Hardy, Ty Holloway, Collin Jerrell, Brent Johnson, Zach Murphy, Brandon Pittman, Jacob Pittman, Hoke Skipper, Brett Tuten, Payton Walker and Mason Woodcock.
Game 1 was won by Pierce as they defeated McIntosh by a score of 11-3.
Game 2 was a blowout and Pierce was on the wrong end of a 13-3 thrashing dropping us to the loser's bracket.
Game 3 against Jeff Davis was no better as Pierce was eliminated by a score of 12-2.
Representing the Pierce County Parks and Recreation Department’s all-star teams, the 14-U team will be travelling to the Jeff Davis County Recreation Complex to compete in the GRPA Class C Junior Boys District Tournament. Pierce will take the field at high noon on Friday to face Long County. The loser plays again at 4:00 p.m. while the winner advances to Saturday at 12:00 p.m. The schedule will vary as Pierce wins or loses so you will have to check back nightly to see what the next day brings. The 14-U team is coached by Dwain Pippin and Michael Carter. The players include Todd Carter, Jayden Crews, Mickey Dixon, Jack Echols, Luke Echols, Austin Hodges, Spencer Hughes, Austin Jernigan, Gage Pippin, J. Reid Phillips, Critter Riggins, Justin Tyre, Andrew Walsh, Spencer Woodcock and Dawson Yarbrough.
Game 1 had Pierce jumping out to an early lead and never looking back as they won a mercy rule game against Long by a score of 15-0.
Game 2 turned out to be a thriller as Pierce scored the first run of the game in the top of the fifth but Jeff Davis came back in the bottom and scored three. Pierce made it interesting in the top of the seventh scoring a run but still came up short losing 3-2 dropping Pierce to the elimination bracket.
Game 3 against Telfair County turned out to be a nightmare for Pierce as Telfair jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning and never looked back as they eliminated Pierce from the tournament by a final score of 7-4.
UPDATED 06/26/16: PCHS 2015 graduate Stetson Smith (Armstrong State University) and the DeLand Suns will play a three game series with the Leesburg Lightning (Monday-Wednesday) before finishing the week with the Winter Garden Squeeze (Thursday, Saturday- Sunday). Check back daily for game updates.
Monday: Suns defeat the Lightning 3-2. Check out Suns news article that mentions Stetson below.
Tuesday: Lightning defeats the Suns 8-1 to even the series up.
Wednesday: The Suns (7-7-0) blister the Lightning (5-11-0) in a 6-0 shutout to take the series.
Thursday: The Suns put the squeeze on Winter Garden taking a 5-3 victory. Stetson scored on run on one hit during his five at bats during the game.
Saturday: The Suns defeated the Squeeze by a score of 7-4. Stetson went 2 for 3 at the plate getting two hits and scoring once himself. Check out the Suns news article that mentions Stetson below.
Sunday: The Suns finished the sweep of the Squeeze winning a lopsided game by a score of 18-3. Stetson got a walk and a hit during the game.
UPDATED 06/25/16: PCHS 2015 graduate Ganon Graham and his Florida JUCO League Mustangs have a busy week with games against the Mavericks on Monday, Rangers on Tuesday on Tuesday, Falcons on Wednesday, Mavericks on Thursday and finishing up with the Rangers on Friday. Check back daily for game updates.
Monday: Mustangs defeat the Mavericks by a score of 5-0
Tuesday: Mustangs (7-6-1) defeat the Rangers (3-12-0) by a score of 11-9. Ganon was the winning pitcher in today's game going 4.1 innings giving up seven runs on six hits. Only three of the seven runs were earned, Ganon also struckout five during his outing.
Wednesday: The Mustangs (8-6-1) defeated the Falcons (9-6-1) by a score of 5-2. Ganon served as the Designated Hitter in today's game scoring one run on one hit with two RBI's.
Thursday: The Mustangs (9-6-1) kept this weeks winning streak alive by defeating the Maverick's (10-6-1) by a score of 2-0.
Friday: The Mustangs (10-6-1) finished the week off with their fifth straight win over the Rangers (3-15-0) by a score of 11-4. Ganon played first base going two for four at the plate on two hits with two RBI's and he scored twice himself.
UPDATED 06/26/16: Up in Montanta, PCHS 2015 graduate Will Lowman and his Missoula Osprey’s (Arizona Diamondbacks) will try and turn around their rough start to the 2016 Minor League Baseball’s Pioneer League season. The O’s will finish up their four game road trip series with the Billing’s Mustangs on Monday before starting a two-game home opening series with the Great Falls Voyagers on Tuesday and Wednesday. Missoula will then host the Mustangs in a four game series at home from Thursday to Sunday so check back daily for game updates.
Monday: Missoula finally got its first win of the season defeating the Mustangs by a score of 4-1.
Tuesday: The O's (1-4) dropped their home opener to the Voyagers (2-3) by a score of 9-3.
Wednesday: The woeful start to the 2016 season continued tonight as the Voyagers defeated the O's by a score of 10-4.
Thursday: Trailing 6-0 in the sixth inning, the O's (2-5) scored four runs and then added three more in the seventh to defeat the Mustangs (3-4) by a score of 7-6.
Friday: The Billings Mustangs (4-4) bounced back in the eighth to take the lead from struggling Missoula (2-6) by a score of 5-4.
Saturday: The Missoula Osprey powered past the Billings Mustang's to win Saturday's game by a score of 12-3.
Sunday: The O's made it close and almost tied the game but came up short by a score of 4-3.
As always, Go Bears!
Suns Take First Two in Series With Winter Garden
June 25, 2016
WINTER GARDEN, Fla. - The DeLand Suns picked up their second consecutive series win with a 7-4 win over the Winter Garden Squeeze on Saturday night at West Orange High School. The Suns improved to 9-7 and have now won six of their last seven games.
The Suns returned to West Orange High School for the first time since their season opener on June 3, a 10-8 loss that was exactly four hours after a short weather delay.
For the third game in a row, the Suns scored at least two runs in the first inning, this time off Winter Garden’s starter Ryan Ashworth (Flagler). Ashworth came into the game with a 5.22 ERA, but hadn’t pitched since June 10. He struck out seven and allowed three runs in 4.1 innings in the first game of the season.
Tyler Marshall (Kentucky) and Zach Reks (Kentucky) began the game with two singles. Marshall scored after a throwing error on the catcher, who was throwing down to second on a stolen base from Reks. After moving to third on a single by Joe Dudek (Kentucky), Reks scored from third on a breaking ball in the dirt that kicked toward the third base dugout. The Suns led 2-0 and turned the ball over to Wade McNabb (Stetson) for his second start of the week.
McNabb came into the game with 15 consecutive shutout innings, dating back to his first start of the season against June 7. McNabb allowed two runners to reach in the first but escaped the jam with a fly out to shallow right field.
Jay Hayes (FGCU) led off the third inning with a double off the fence in right-center. The Suns moved him over on a groundball to the right side from Dudek, and Garrett Hall (State College of Florida) drove him on a sacrifice fly to center.
The Squeeze snapped McNabb’s scoreless-inning streak at 17.2 innings on an unearned run in the bottom of the third. Then, his earned run scoreless-inning streak ended at 18.1 innings in the fourth on an RBI-double by Jake Smith (FGCU) and an RBI-single by Cody Burgess (Florida Southern) — tying the game at 3-3. McNabb’s night was done after allowing six hits in four innings of work.
The Suns responded immediately in the fifth with a two-run home run by Dudek to right-center. The Winter Garden right fielder, Josh Moser (UCF) took one step back and stopped to watch the ball enter the wilderness beyond the right field fence. Dudek’s third home run of the season gave the Suns a 5-3 lead.
The Squeeze scored one in the bottom of the fifth before the Suns scored two more runs in the sixth on three straight singles from the bottom of the order, and then an RBI-single by Marshall at the top of the order. Stetson Smith (Armstrong State) scored on a wild pitch to take a 7-4 lead, but the Suns would strand the bases loaded.
Winter Garden began the sixth inning with a single but Trent Blum (St. Petersburg College) forced a 6-4-3 double play to take the runners off the bases and get the Suns out of trouble. At the end of the sixth inning, the Suns led 7-4 and the game then went into a rain delay.
Because the game already had six innings complete, the game was final after six innings and the Suns improved to 9-7 on the summer. The Squeeze are now 8-8 and the Suns jumped ahead of the Squeeze in the standings into second place.
Blum was the winning pitcher for the second consecutive game (2-0) and Ashworth took the loss (1-1). Marshall, Hayes, Dudek, Smith and Derek Deler (Mount Olive) each had two hits and the Suns had 12 hits in the six innings.
The Suns return to West Orange High School at 5 p.m. on Sunday for the series finale.
Suns Beat Winter Garden in Series Opener
June 23, 2016
DELAND, FLA. - The Suns moved above .500 for the first time on Thursday night with a 5-3 win over the Winter Garden Squeeze at Melching Field at Conrad Park. The Suns improved to 8-7 on the year and Winter Garden dropped to 8-7.
“We’re here to learn and get better each day and we’ve talked about that since day one,” Head Coach Rick Hall said. “They’re starting to get some confidence and as that continues I think we’re going to be in the mix at the end of the year.”
The Suns offense was alive early for the second consecutive night and picked up three runs in the bottom of the first inning off of Winter Garden’s Anthony Mazzurco (West Florida), after falling behind 2-0 in the top half of the inning. Zach Reks (Kentucky) singled with one out and set the table for the rest of the lineup. Jay Hayes (Florida Gulf Coast) and Joe Dudek (Kentucky) then reached on walks and the Suns had the bases loaded for Garrett Hall (State College of Florida).
Hall delivered with a two-RBI single that plated Reks and Hayes and the Suns had an immediate response to Winter Garden’s first inning. In the next at bat, Chandler Rodriguez (Santa Fe) drove in his third run of the season with a single and the Suns took a 3-2 lead and would never look back.
Brady Mintell (Webber International) made his second start of the season for the Suns and only allowed two unearned runs in the top of the first inning. Mintell would then be the beneficiary of two double plays in his next three innings.
In the second inning the Squeeze had a chance to tie the game on a shallow fly ball off the bat of Cody Burgess to right field. Logan Blum (UCF) got behind the high fly ball, with Winter Garden’s Patrick McLellan (Columbus State) tagging from third base. Blum made his throw, entirely in the air, to home plate and Brad Gresock (St. Bonaventure) applied the tag to end the inning.
Mintell exited after 4.1 innings and turned it over to Trent Blum (St. Petersburg College) with a runner on first in a one-run game. Blum forced Winter Garden’s Kyle Corbin (Bethune-Cookman) to ground into a 6-4-3 double play that killed another Squeeze rally.
The Suns picked up insurance runs in the fifth after Stetson Smith (Armstrong State) led off the inning with a double. Then Dudek drove him in with a single into left-center, beating the Squeeze’s shift on Dudek. Through five innings the Suns led 4-2.
The Suns added one more in the seventh as Reks scored on a wild pitch from Winter Garden’s Austin Butler (Undecided). The throw beat Reks to the plate but he avoided the tag and put the Suns up 5-2.
In Blum’s final inning of work for the Suns, he allowed one run after a leadoff double by Nick Niarchos (High Point) in the eighth. He scored on a groundout from Corbin, cutting the Suns’ lead to 5-3.
For the second time this week, Byron Ferguson came on for the save for DeLand. Ferguson allowed one runner to reach in the ninth but forced the tying run, McLellan, to pop out behind home plate for the final out.
The Suns won 5-3 and are now in a tie for second place with Winter Garden at 8-7. Hall knows that, even early on in the season, you have to stay as high in the standings as possible.
“The whole key for the summer is to stay out of the play-in game,” Hall said. “Last year we played in the play-in game and faced the number one pitcher in the league. We lose 2-1 and we’re done.”
Blum picked up his first win of the season (1-0) and Mazzurco dropped to 1-2. DeLand is now 3-1 against Winter Garden on the season. DeLand's pitching staff has only walked one batter in the last two games.
Reks was 2-for-4 on the night with two singles, a walk and two runs, Rodriguez was 3-for-4 with three singles and an RBI and Hall was 2-for-3 with two singles, two RBIs and a walk.
The Suns and the Squeeze continue this series on Saturday at 7 p.m. at West Orange High School in Winter Garden.
Webmaster Notice and Disclaimer
October 18, 2008
This website is not an official Patterson Recreation Department, Pierce County Parks & Recreation or Pierce County School website. This website was created as a tribute to and information about the past and present baseball teams and players of Pierce County. I will provide as much information as I can concerning teams including the Patterson Recreation All-Stars, Pierce County Parks & Recreation All-Stars, Pierce County travel teams, Pierce County Middle School, PCHS Junior Varsity and Varsity teams as well as our players that are playing at the collegiate level. If you wish to make any comments or see additional information, please feel free to contact me at (912) 614-7059 or by email to Tony Walsh. I will try to provide the most accurate information that I can so if you see any mistakes or misinformation, please notify me as soon as possible. This website is an unofficial and independent source of news and information.