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5A baseball: Plant City finds its groove early

OCALA — Plant City scored four runs in the first inning to win the Class 5A region quarterfinal 8-3 over Forest on a rainy Tuesday night.

The Raiders pounded out 10 hits, drew eight walks and cashed in on three costly Forest errors. Plant City (18-8) used back-to-back singles and a walk by its first three hitters of the game to load the bases on Forest starter Bryan Neal.

Micah Carmony then laced a two-run double and K'Shawn Smith followed with an RBI single as the first five Raiders reached base safely. Rightfielder Mike Durig's RBI sacrifice fly to right made it 4-0 before Plant City starter Jonathan Alvarez ever climbed the hill.

"When you jump out on them early, it's tremendous for your confidence," Plant City coach Mark Persails said. "It helped them relax, which was good because none of them have been this far (in the playoffs) before."

Alvarez (7-0) allowed just five hits with four strikeouts and a single walk.

Forest (15-13) threatened late when a misplayed flyball in left allowed two unearned runs to score to make it a 6-3 game.

But the Raiders immediately answered when shortstop Smith homered to deep right-center to open the seventh. Catcher Tyler Wyatt followed with an RBI single.

5A baseball: Plant City finds its groove early 05/04/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, May 4, 2010 11:58pm]
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