SPRING HILL — The Sebring and Lake Placid All-Stars had a tough opening day in the Dixie Ozone State Baseball Tournament on Saturday in Spring Hill.
Sebring lost an 8-7 heartbreaker in eight innings to a talented Spring Hill National squad, while Lake Placid lost to West Seminole by a score of 6-5 after a five-hour rain delay.
Sebring played West Volusia in a loser’s bracket game on Sunday. Results were not available at press time.
Lake Placid had a bye on Sunday and will face the winner of Sebring and West Volusia in an elimination game today.
Sebring got off to a great start in Saturday’s game against Spring Hill National in the top of the first inning as Robert Spoone reached on an error and Gunner Leonard and Shaun Algate walked to load the bases for cleanup hitter Blayne Huter.
Not wasting any time, Huter blasted the first pitch over the fence for a grand slam home run.
The boys in blue kept the pressure on as Keshawn Hicks was hit by pitch, stole second base, advanced to third base on a passed ball and scored on a bad pickoff throw to make it 5-0.
Spring Hill answered in the bottom of the frame, as the first three batters were walked by Hicks.
With the bases loaded, Huter was brought in to pitch for Sebring. A walk forced in a run and a ground out scored another run to make it 5-2.
Spring Hill tacked on a run in the bottom of the second inning with the aid of a Sebring error to pull within 5-3.
The All-Stars from Spring Hill National scored three runs in the fourth inning to take a 6-5 lead.
Sebring got going in the fifth inning as Algate reached on an error and Huter singled.
Spring Hill brought in Hunter Gillespie in relief and Algate stole third base and scored when the throw went into the outfield.
Bender singled to left field to plate Huter for a 7-6 lead.
Algate comes on in relief for Sebring and retired the first two batters, but gave up a solo home run to tie the game at 7.
Sebring had an excellent scoring opportunity in the top of the sixth inning with the bases loaded and only one out.
But Spring Hill turned a nifty 5-2 double play to end the threat.
The contest headed into extra innings and Sebring went scoreless in the seventh and eighth innings.
Cope Brewer took the mound for Sebring in the eighth inning and the first batter singled, stole second base and moved to third base on a single.
A base hit to left field scored the winning run to give Spring Hill National the hard-fought 8-7 victory.
West Seminole 6, Lake Placid 5
The Lake Placid All-Stars tried to overcome a quality opponent and a five-hour rain delay but lost by a score of 6-5 to West Seminole on Saturday.
Lake Placid was held scoreless the first two innings and West Seminole got on the scoreboard when Dylan Brazil smacked an RBI single to plate Andrew Pickalow in the first inning.
Lake Placid’s bats came alive in the third inning when Niquan Allen singled and Jackson Griffin and Tiger Youngman walked to load the bases.
Lane Graziani scored Allen with a hit to center field and Izaiah Patterson roped a single to plate Griffin.
Jace Johnston banged out a single to score Youngman, Cody Carpenter racked up an RBI and Royston Daley capped the inning with a base hit to score Patterson for a 5-1 lead.
West Seminole tallied a run in the fourth inning as Luke Hayman scored Maverick Stallings to trim their deficit to 5-2.
Lake Placid’s bats fell silent in the fifth inning, but West Seminole went to work and managed to score four runs in the bottom of the fifth to take a 6-5 lead.
Lake Placid went down in the top of the sixth inning to take the loss.
If Sebring won on Sunday, Lake Placid would face them in an elimination game today.