Stockdale leads Raiders to sixth straight win

Published: Thursday, March 7, 2013 at 10:42 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, March 7, 2013 at 10:42 p.m.

ALACHUA — When it comes to filling out a lineup card, baseball coaches like their top two hitters to set the table for the rest of the order.

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Santa Fe's Chad Stockdale rounds third base on his way to score a run against North Marion on Thursday.

Matt Stamey/Staff photographer

That's just what leadoff hitter Chad Stockdale and Daniel Drageset did Thursday for Santa Fe.

Stockdale went 3-for-3 at the plate with a pair of doubles, and Drageset had a double and two RBIs as the Raiders won their sixth straight game, beating North Marion 4-2 in a non-district contest at Matt Schwartz Memorial Field.

The game, which was originally scheduled to be played at the Colts' home field in Citra on Wednesday, was postponed because a hole in the field developed from a rotted oak tree stump.

Stockdale and Drageset accounted for five of Santa Fe's seven hits on the game, which was tied at 2-all heading into bottom of the sixth inning. UF signee Kirby Snead opened the inning with a single to center for the Raiders, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt and third on a sacrifice fly to right.

Then what seemed liked a routine fly out to left turned instead into a huge North Marion error, scoring Snead and pushing Tim Deen, who reached on a walk, to third. Deen scored on a passed ball, giving Santa Fe a 4-2 lead.

The Raiders (7-1) closed out the contest with a double play in the top of the seventh.

“They were hitting aggressively at the plate,” Santa Fe first-year coach Todd Gray said of his leading two hitters. “They were looking for first-pitch fastballs early in the count and getting on it. That's the pitches they were hitting and driving. They did an outstanding job.”

Raiders starter Clint Duke struggled early, pitching five innings and allowing just two hits with six strikeouts and six walks. Sophomore lefty Austin Burritt (2-0) picked up the win in two innings of relief.

“This was probably his worst outing of the year and at the same time one of his best,” Gray said of Duke. “He gave up one hit and walked seven and still gave up just one run, and it was an unearned run.”

The Colts (4-4) scored a run in the first, but Santa Fe tied it after Stockdale and Drageset opened the fourth with back-to-back doubles. Drageset's single to left-center after Stockdale's two-out double in the fifth gave the Raiders their first lead at 2-1.

“North Marion is a good team,” Gray said. “We just out-executed them today and got the win.”

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