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Thursday, Jul 30, 2015
Local Sports

Sebring routs Red Devils


SEBRING For the second time this season an Avon Park and Sebring baseball game ended after five innings. Only this time it was the Blue Streaks who came out on top, posting a 12-0 victory over the Red Devils on Monday at Firemen’s Memorial Field.

The Blue Streaks avenged a 13-3 loss to Avon Park at the Bill Jarrett Ford Early Bird Classic

“That’s baseball—sometimes you’re up and sometimes you’re down and we’ve been on both ends of it this year,” said Sebring coach Buck Rapp. “It’s a little bit better to be on this side of it.”

The Blue Streaks may not have brought their ‘A’ game—only collecting four base hits—but then again they didn’t need to, as the Red Devils brought their ‘E’ game, committing an uncharacteristic five errors, along with a handful of mental mistakes.

“When you lose and give up 12 runs and only four hits, that tells you how you played,” said Avon Park coach Whit Cornell.

The Red Devils loaded the bases in the top of the first with one out, as Tyrone Perry doubled and Josh Gomez and Steven Flowers were hit by pitches, but Sebring starter Matt Portis was able to get two strikeouts to end the inning.

The Blue Streaks didn’t waste any time getting the offense going, as Brad Doty walked and stole second, coming into score on a Wyatt Johnson single. Cullen Lovett walked and Dane Maddox was hit by a pitch, setting up Garrett DeRoss’ two-run double to make it 3-0 with no outs.

The Red Devils moved Perry to the mound and he ended the threat with two strikeouts and a ground ball.

Doty walked and stole second to lead off the bottom of the second, but Perry struck out the next two batters. He recorded his third straight strikeout, but the ball got past the catcher, allowing Doty to score and keeping the inning alive.

DeRoss followed with his second base hit of the game and Jimmy Peck stroked a two-run single and would later score on an error, as the Blue Streaks led 7-0 after two.

Perry smacked his second double of the game in the top of the third to no avail and the Blue Streaks broke the game open in the bottom of the third, scoring five runs without the aid of a base hit, as three errors, a walk and a missed third strike came back to haunt the Red Devils. DeRoss and Peck had RBI ground balls in the inning.

Gio Gomez recorded the final five outs of the game for the Red Devils, while Portis pitched the top of the fourth and gave way to DeRoss, who retired the side in order in the top of the fifth to bring the game to an early end.

“I was really pleased with the way Matt threw,” Rapp said. “I thought he had a good game.”

Rapp said the Blue Streaks took advantage of some situations in the game, but he wouldn’t count on a repeat performance.

“DeRoss had a good game all around,” Rapp said. “He drove in some runs and he’s very versatile; he can play first base and the closing role that he’s in, he throws strikes and has good stuff. He’s really starting to turn it on.”

“Avon Park’s a better team than that,” he said. “They’ll bounce back. Whit has too many guys over there who can play.”

Cornell said Gio Gomez did a solid job—retiring all five batters he faced—and Perry deserved a better fate.

“Both guys threw well,” he said. “but when you beat yourself, that gives you something to work on.”

Both teams were in action on Tuesday, as the Red Devils hosted Booker and Sebring welcomed Oviedo.

“I’m happy for the guys,” Rapp said. “Confidence-wise, I think that’s a big boost, but we still have a long way to go. We’re still improving and looking to get better, especially as we head into district play next week. Hopefully we can build on this and keep going.”

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