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5A-8 baseball: Armwood, Plant City reach final

RIVERVIEW — The scenario — win or go home. That was the case Tuesday as Riverview hosted the 5A-8 baseball semifinals.

Armwood defeated Durant 11-6 and Plant City knocked off Riverview 3-2; the Hawks and Raiders meet at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Riverview in the championship game.

In the first game Tuesday, Riverview and Plant City both got off to quick starts in the first, as the Sharks quickly put up two runs only to be surpassed by the Raiders' four-run inning.

The Sharks were quiet for several innings after the first but came roaring back in the sixth to tie it at 6 with a bases-clearing double by Eric Santiago.

But Plant City had more left in the tank. Three doubles in the sixth allowed the Raiders to take the lead and close out the game.

"They have a good understanding at the plate, and we've had that all year. They took it upon themselves to make up for the previous inning and pull off the win," Raiders coach Mark Persails said.

In the second game, Zack Powers of Armwood pitched a gem, striking out 15 batters in his first start in two weeks.

Armwood led 1-0 until the bottom of the fourth when Riverview's Jacob Burgess crushed a two-run home run over the centerfield wall for a 2-1 lead.

Tyler Alexander came up in the top of the sixth for his own two-run shot for the Hawks, which proved to be the difference in the game.

Powers completed the game by striking out two batters in the ninth inning, but not before he hit and walked two batters.

"I knew I could come back and throw strikes," Powers said when asked what went through his mind with two men on and two out. "I just tried to overdo it."

5A-8 baseball: Armwood, Plant City reach final 04/27/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, April 27, 2010 11:35pm]
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