MARIANNA — The Sebring Machine Pitch All-Stars entered their fourth day of play in the Dixie AA state tournament on Tuesday and managed to split a pair of games.
Sebring started the day as one of eight teams still left standing in the double-elimination bracket and one of only two squads that were undefeated.
Sebring played East Lakeland in the tournament although they had been defeated by them in a single-elimination practice tournament several weeks prior.
Sebring took home field advantage and entered the field determined to show everyone what they were made of as the defense shut out East Lakeland in the top of the first inning.
In the bottom of the first, the boys in blue managed to plate a pair of runs for a quick 2-0 lead.
East Lakeland was held to zero runs in the third and fourth innings and Sebring extended its lead as Clayton Evans belted a pair of doubles and scored twice to give them a 5-3 lead.
East Lakeland scored three runs in the top of the fifth inning to narrow its deficit to two runs.
Sebring shut down the East Lakeland offense in the top of the sixth inning to secure the hard-fought 5-3 victory.
Sebring advanced in the winner’s bracket to play Bushnell, a winner over the other undefeated team, West Volusia.
Sebring took the visitor side of the field against Bushnell in the second game of the day and Chase Sevigny tripled his first time at bat and scored on a base hit.
The boys from Sebring turned a nifty double play in the bottom of the frame to snuff out a Bushnell threat.
In the top of the second inning, Zain Carmichael, Jackson, and Wyatt each doubled with an RBI to contribute to a five-run explosion and a commanding 6-0 lead.
In the bottom of the second inning, Sebring seemed to be falling off their defensive game giving up seven runs. Error after error caused helped Bushnell take a stunning 9-6 lead.
In the top of the third inning, Rhett Vaughn tripled and Jayden Garrett put down a perfect bunt and advanced to second on the play.
Sebring scored two runs in the third and held Bushnell to only one. Sebring added a [pair of runs in the fourth and one in the fifth to tie the game at 11.
Bushnell erupted for five runs in bottom of the fifth inning for a 16-11 lead.
Sebring failed to score in its last at-bat to drop its frist game of the tournament.
The Sebring All-Stars have had a solid run in the tournament and advanced to the final four along with Bushnell, East Lakeland and West Volusia.
Sebring played West Volusia on Wednesday. A loss eliminated them and a win would advance them to the championship game.
Results from the games were not available at press time.
For the complete story and photos from Wednesday’s games, be sure to read Friday’s Highlands Today sports section.
Win or lose, it’s amazing how far these boys have come. They have put on quite a show at state and have most certainly become known for their defense.
The boys have played four straight days of excellent baseball with temperatures in the 90s and have displayed great focus and determination.