Williston baseball rallies to edge Palatka

Published: Thursday, April 1, 2010 at 7:50 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, April 1, 2010 at 7:50 a.m.

ALACHUA — Caleb Medeiros hit a clutch RBI single in the bottom of the sixth inning as the Williston Red Devils defeated the Palatka Panthers 2-1 in a game played at Santa Fe High School.

The senior centerfielder/pitcher's line drive, which scored Lawrence Jones, helped spoil a nearly perfect outing by Palatka's starter Logan Barber. In fact, Williston's Christian Morris was its only base runner up until the sixth inning. Morris was picked off at second base by Panther catcher Phillip Harper shortly after smashing a second inning double just out of the reach of Palatka centerfielder Dayne Taylor.

William Colina (5-2) picked up the win with four innings of scoreless relief for the Red Devils (12-5). Colina tallied four strikeouts, including one of the one-pitch variety after taking over for Williston starter Max White with a 2-2 count on designated hitter Herbie Friday in the fourth inning.

The Panthers (8-6) would touch home plate first. Taylor led off the game with a walk and was pushed to third by a Jeremy Oliver double off White. Taylor would get to run 90 more feet on an RBI ground out by Chayce Garner and a 1-0 Panther lead.

That first inning run seemed to be all the protection Barber needed. The senior cruised from that point on, pitching to the minimum of 15 Williston batters over five innings. Of those 15, Barber struck out only three but was able to count on his defense. Six of the 15 outs were via the flyout, six were ground outs to go along with the pick-off by Harper.

But things would change in the sixth.

In that inning, Barber (0-1) yielded a lead-off double by Justin Baker off the right-field fence. Jones followed with an infield single, moving pinch-runner Justin Forsythe to third.

Forsythe would then come home on a sacrifice fly by Austin Etheridge for Williston's first run of the game. Medeiros then lined a 1-1 pitch out of the reach of Palatka second baseman D.J. Head, scoring Jones and a 2-1 Red Devil lead.

“This was a game that showed when you can get some guys on base, things can happen,” Williston head coach Jim Smith said.

Colina maintained his poise to close out the game despite issuing a lead-off walk to Lavaris McCullough to begin the seventh. Colina would then ring up Taylor on a two-strike bunt attempt, followed by consecutive routine outs to end the game.

“It was good to come out here and be able to help in a win like this,” Colina said. “I have been struggling a bit lately, but things felt pretty smooth tonight."

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