Williston overcomes quiet bats in quarterfinal win

Williston's Justin Forsythe rounds second base after reaching on a passed ball in Wednesday's 2-0 win against South Sumter in the Class 4A, Region 2 quarterfinals.

Matt Stamey / Staff photographer
Published: Wednesday, May 1, 2013 at 10:00 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, May 1, 2013 at 11:35 p.m.

WILLISTON — Williston didn't have a lot of hits in Wednesday's Class 4A, Region 2 quarterfinal, but South Sumter more than helped out.

The visiting Raiders walked 11 batters with two hit by pitch, two errors and three passed balls as Haydn Cano had the game's only RBI on a sacrifice fly in the Red Devils' 2-0 victory, played mostly in a drizzle.

Trent Johnson improved to 10-2 on the mound, giving up just two hits in five innings of work. He also had two of Williston's three hits in the game. But none of the hits led to runs, meaning the Devils took advantage of what was given them.

“They (runs) were scarce,” said Williston coach Scott Hall, whose team improved to 20-5. “We want to try to be real aggressive. If we do get someone on base, we want to steal a base or two bases with a hit-and-run or something like that.”

“Unfortunately we didn't take advantage of all our opportunities because we must have left like 14 guys on base. If we could have gotten just one crucial hit at the right time, it wouldn't have been as close a ballgame. But it was fun.”

South Sumter (14-8) also had only three hits. But Williston didn't issue a walk.

With one out in the bottom of the second, Justin Forsythe was hit by Raider starter Garrett Cave. Forsythe stole both second base and third, then scored when South Sumter's catcher Isaiah Cullum overthrew his pickoff attempt at third base.

The game stayed at 1-0 until the sixth, when Tay Hammonds coaxed a walk from Raider reliever Call Graham, stole second and reached third on a passed ball. Cano lifted a deep fly out to left, bringing home Hammonds for a 2-0 Williston lead.

South Sumter's Jarod Lozano opened the seventh with a double to left-center but was tagged out at third base when he tried to stretch it to a triple. Relief pitcher Austin Langworthy got the next two Raider batters to ground out, ending the contest.

The Devils wasted three bases-loaded situations. The first came in the second, when they hit into a double play to end the inning. The other two were the result of strikeouts.

With the victory, Williston advances to next Tuesday's regional semifinals in Ocala against Trinity Catholic, which beat Fort White 2-1 in 13 innings. Last season, the Devils reached the regional finals for the first time since 1923.

“We are going to go into that game and play as hard as we can possibly play, and the good Lord willing we will see how it goes,” Hall said.

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