Spring Hill teams reach finals
With a 6-5 victory over South Carolina on Wednesday night, Spring Hill cemented a spot in the finals of the Dixie Ozone World Series in Lexington, S.C. Alabama and North Carolina were in the late game.
Spring Hill (15-1, 4-1) took a 4-0 lead when Luis Ortiz hit his third home run of the series, a three-run shot. Jaden Rivera made it back-to-back homers with his second of the tournament. Raulin Jeffcoat hammered a leadoff home run to cut the lead to 4-1. South Carolina tied at 4 before the first frame ended.
In Ortiz's second at-bat, he drilled a second homer over the wall. Pushing the lead to an insurmountable 6-4 in the sixth, Ortiz hit his third and final home run to tie the World Series record set by multiple players, the last time in 2011 by Josh Kraus from Sebring.
DIXIE AAA MINORS: Spring Hill American could have a rematch with Texas, the team that handed the club its only loss of the postseason, for the World Series title today in Lexington, S.C. Spring Hill (10-1, 4-1) got by North Carolina 7-5 on Wednesday night.
Jumping out to a 4-0 lead behind shutout pitching from Talon Bergantino (three innings, four strikeouts, two walks, three hits) and a two-run homer from Riley Cullum (3-for-3, three RBIs, two runs scored, one walk) in the third, Spring Hill seemed in control. North Carolina got to reliever Sammy Sanchez for four runs (three earned) to tie in the bottom of the fifth.
The Florida players responded with the first four batters reaching in the top of the sixth. Cullum knocked in the go-ahead run with a single to score Quintin Hotop.
Unbeaten Texas had a late game with South Carolina. A win means Spring Hill will have to beat its opponent twice. If South Carolina upsets Texas, Spring Hill and South Carolina will square off for a shot at Texas.
Derek J. LaRiviere, Times correspondent