Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

4A baseball: Hernando shakes off early deficit to top Mitchell

Hernando’s Ian Townsend, right, celebrates with teammate Taylor Owensby after scoring a run.

CHRIS PRICE | Special to the Times

Hernando’s Ian Townsend, right, celebrates with teammate Taylor Owensby after scoring a run.

BROOKSVILLE — In its first state playoff appearance since 2004, Hernando proved itself worthy in the same way it has all season — with a comeback victory in the late innings.

Defending their homefield advantage, the Leopards defeated Mitchell 7-5 in the Class 4A region quarterfinals Tuesday.

"People have to beat us," Hernando coach Tim Sims said. "To play for me, you better have an extremely short memory."

Hernando (20-9) started slowly, as Mitchell starter Garrett Kriston retired the first 11 batters in order. He dominated, leading the Mustangs (18-11) to a 2-0 lead going into the bottom of the fourth.

Then the Hernando offense began to find its stroke at the plate. The Leopards scored two runs courtesy of three Mitchell errors in the fourth. That momentum was just enough to spark the home team. They plated another three in the fifth and two in the sixth.

Hernando ace Justin Gates, who was clearly laboring as the sixth and seventh innings came on, put on a workmanlike effort.

Though his line wasn't overly impressive (seven innings, seven hits, five earned runs), he pitched a complete game without surrendering a walk and struck out seven. With a two-run lead in the final frame, he struck out the final two batters in a 1-2-3 seventh.

"(Gates) looked at me because he didn't want to come out of the game," Sims said. "He was the key cog because he was there to finish this one for us."

. Up next

Region semifinals

Games Friday at 7

4A: Hernando at Wesley Chapel

2A: Bishop McLaughlin at Lakeland Christian

4A baseball: Hernando shakes off early deficit to top Mitchell 05/04/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, May 4, 2010 10:48pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Anthem protest, the latest: Jerry Jones joins Cowboys on field in show of solidarity

    Bucs

    As President Donald Trump continued tweeting Monday about his displeasure with NFL players for staging demonstrations during the national anthem, the Cowboys took a knee on the field just before the anthem was performed on Monday Night Football. Dallas players were joined by owner Jerry Jones, and they quickly …

    Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, center, joins the team in taking a knee before the national anthem Monday night. They stood and linked arms for the anthem.
  2. Bucs journal: Gerald McCoy says players who kneel have team's support

    Sports

    TAMPA — Receivers Mike Evans and DeSean Jackson were the only Bucs players kneeling during the national anthem before Sunday's game against the Vikings, but DT Gerald McCoy said the team supports their protest "100 percent."

    Bucs tight end Cameron Brate pulls in a touchdown catch as Vikings safety Andrew Sendejo (34) hits him in the back of the head.
  3. Rays at Yankees, 7:05 p.m. Tuesday, New York

    The Heater

    Tonight: at Yankees

    7:05, Yankee Stadium, New York

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    Tampa Bay Rays' Blake Snell poses for a picture during the team's photo day at baseball spring training in Port Charlotte, Fla., Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
  4. Luke Del Rio regains UF starting job, for now

    College

    GAINESVILLE — Luke Del Rio is once again the starting quarterback for No. 21 Florida.

    Luke Del Rio provided a needed spark when he replaced starter Feleipe Franks and rallied Florida past Kentucky.
  5. Four questions the Lightning still has to answer

    Lightning Strikes

    FORT LAUDERDALE — The Lightning made its biggest round of cuts Monday, with some of the big-name prospects heading out.

    Tampa Bay Lightning forward Steven Stamkos (91) looks on from the bench during a shift change at Lightning hockey training camp in Brandon on Monday (09/18/17). In background on right is Nikita Kucherov (86). DIRK SHADD   |   Times