Roundup: Indians, Hurricanes fall in quarterfinals

Published: Wednesday, May 1, 2013 at 10:00 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, May 1, 2013 at 11:57 p.m.

OCALA — For nearly five hours Fort White gave Trinity Catholic all it wanted in Wednesday's Class 4A regional quarterfinal.

But in the end, the Indians fell victim to the heroics of Trinity's Sam Atwell, who delivered a walk-off home run in the bottom of the 13th for the 2-1 victory

The Celtic junior also picked up the win on the hill, tossing seven innings of scoreless relief.

“I had two tough at-bats early,” Atwell said,” but I saw one right down the middle and hammered it.”

The win sends Trinity Catholic into the second round of regional play, where the Celtics will host Williston on Tuesday. Trinity (18-9) won both games against the Red Devils during the regular season, and Celtic skipper Tommy Bond is hoping Atwell's heroics will jump-start a Trinity lineup that left 13 baserunners stranded Wednesday night.

“Hopefully this gets us going,” Bond said. “To get a walk-off in the 13th, that's what you dream of as a kid. We left a ton of guys on base tonight. We had chances all night long.”

Trinity got to UCF signee Robby Howell in the first inning when Dash Winningham stroked a two-out RBI single that drove in Alex Merritt, who had singled and stole second.

Then the Celtics got a surprise in the second when Kevin Dupree took the hill. The senior proceeded to toss 8-1/3 innings of scoreless relief, before turning it over to sophomore Rhett Willis, who ultimately took the loss.

Fort White head coach Mike Rizzi said Howell had his back stiffen up on him between innings, which forced the move to Dupree.

“Robby's been battling some back spasms lately, and it just kind of tightened up on him,” Rizzi explained. “But I'm real proud of all of them — they battled. I told my seniors ‘if you're gonna go out your last game, this is the type of game you'll remember.'”

Fort White (14-11) scratched out a run in the third when Howell — who slid over to play third — drove in shortstop Brady Wilkinson with an RBI single off Celtic starter Jesse Lepore.

The Indians managed just five hits on the night and just one against Atwell, who struck out four and didn't walk a batter.

The Celtics recorded 10 hits in the win, including three by senior Josh Gourley and a pair from Lepore.

Bond isn't sure who he'll send to the mound against Williston on Tuesday, but the veteran coach is hoping to decide things in regulation after playing in the longest game in school history in Wednesday's quarterfinal.

“This is definitely the longest game we've ever been a part of,” Bond said. “We can't ask much more of the pitching staff — to hold it to one. Atwell came in and threw strikes. Nineteen in a row — that's tough to do no matter what you're doing.”

SPRING HILL SPRINGSTEAD 13, GAINESVILLE 3: At Springstead, the Hurricanes saw their season come to an end after surrendering 13 runs in five innings in Wednesday's Class 6A, Region 2 quarterfinal.

The host Eagles scattered nine of their 11 hits on Hurricanes starter Jake Reimer (5-7), who lasted 4 1/3 innings with five strikeouts and four walks.

Gainesville grabbed a 2-0 lead in the first inning but could not hold back Springstead's bats. The Eagles had four players with multiple hits, including catcher Trent Wyzykowski's 2-for-3 effort with two runs and four RBIs.

Gainesville was led at the plate by freshman third baseman Kyle McGriff, who went 1-for-1 with two walks and a first-inning run.

The Hurricanes finish 9-19 for the season, while Springstead (17-9) advances to host Inverness Citrus in Tuesday's regional semifinals at 7 p.m.

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