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Wednesday, Jul 29, 2015
Local Sports

Rough on the diamond

Special to Highlands Today


— In a tournament that has been plagued by weather, the Sebring All-Stars dropped from the ranks of the unbeaten with a 5-2 loss to Spring Hill American on Wednesday night in Arcadia.

“We couldn’t get our bats going,” said Sebring AAA coach Kirby Whitehouse. “The kids were staying confused at the plate and guessing the whole time. Their pitcher did a good job changing speeds and keeping us thinking. Just a couple of our players had good looks but everybody else was just guessing. They did good but they just got caught up in maybe not believing in themselves towards the end of the game.”

The loss dropped Sebring into the loser’s bracket in the 10-team, double-elimination Dixie Youth AAA/Minor State Tournament.

The boys in blue played West Seminole in an elimination game on Thursday night. Results were not available at press time. For the complete story and photos, be sure to read Saturday’s Highlands Today sports section.

For the latest results, check the Highlands Today Facebook page.

Lake Placid was knocked out of the tournament on Wednesday night with a 9-0 loss to West Seminole in a game that started on Tuesday night and was delayed until Wednesday because of unrelenting rain and lightning.

Sebring got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the second inning against Spring Hill.

Fabian Ayala-Narvaez roped a double to left-center field, Nathan Andrews singled and Jonathan Delgado walked to load the bases.

Case McClelland lined the ball directly to the first baseman resulting in a double play, but Ayala-Narvaez scored on a wild pitch and Andrews raced home on a base hit by Owen Lowe for a 2-0 lead.

Spring Hill answered in the top of the fourth inning as Aiden Leskauskas doubled to right-center field and Jacob Kelly hit a ground ball down the third-base line for a double to plate Leskauskas to pull within 2-1.

Spring Hill continued to peck away in the top of the fifth inning as Quintin Hotop walked, advanced to second base on a wild pitch and Jaxon Newhall followed with an RBI double.

Newhall took third on a wild pitch and scored when Riley Cullum hit a fly ball that was dropped when Sebring outfielder’s Dane Kelsey and Trey Rowe collided to give Spring Hill a 3-2 lead.

“We had a collision but it was just kids trying to make plays,” said Coach Whitehouse. “I guess it is hard when the ball goes up and the fans are yelling, it’s hard to hear.”

Sebring couldn’t seem to get their bats going. In the bottom of the fifth inning Lowe grounded out, but Jacob Jackson was hit in the ribs and stole second base.

Logan McGann hit a looper to center field for a single but the Spring Hill hurler got the next batter to put an end to the scoring threat.

Between the fifth and sixth innings the game came to a halt when Sebring assistant coach Jose Regino was struck in the left eye during warm-ups.

Coach Regino was awake and talking. When asked by paramedics where he was he said, “The ball game. I know we are down a run.”

Coach Regino was taken to the hospital to be checked out.

When the game resumed in the sixth inning Josh Regino was visibly shaken but continued to play his second base position.

Spring Hill’s Kelly hit a ground ball into left field for a single and took second and third on wild pitches. Owen Andress walked and Hotop ripped a triple to right field for a 5-2 lead.

Sebring tried to rally in its final at-bat as Ayala-Narvaez hit a line drive to left field for a single and Andrews walked.

Both runners moved into scoring position, but Lowe lined into a double play to end the threat and the game.

Reid Whitehouse pitched five strong innings, striking five out and walking only four. Nathan Andrews was brought in for the last inning striking two out with one walk.

“Our pitching was good,” said Coach Whitehouse. ”A couple of those hits were pitches I shouldn’t of called. The kids were just on it. Reid went five innings and did a good job.”

If Sebring defeated West Seminole Thursday night, the boys in blue would play tonight against either Bartow or Spring Hill.