Make us your home page

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

(View our Privacy Policy)

Spring Hill wins state Dixie baseball title

Champs: The under-14 Clearwater Lady Bombers won the Road to Orlando World Series, a 53-team event, on Saturday.

Photo courtesy of Christie Felts

Champs: The under-14 Clearwater Lady Bombers won the Road to Orlando World Series, a 53-team event, on Saturday.

Until Wednesday, host Sebring had won each of its four games of the Dixie Boys (ages 13-14) state championship by at least 10 runs.

Not only did that run end, but Spring Hill (6-1) bounced back from a 16-6 loss to Sebring on Monday to win the first of a two-game final, 4-0 at the Max Long Complex.

J.P. Gates, who had hit three homers in five games, showed off his arm, pitching six scoreless innings. The victory earned Spring Hill, the defending state champion, a winner-take-all rematch immediately afterward.

And in the third meeting between the clubs over four days, the Hernando County team won 14-11 win to earn a berth in the Dixie Boys World Series in Bossier City, La. Spring Hill will represent Florida starting Aug. 2.

Down 6-3 in the top of the fourth, Spring Hill put up seven runs. Sebring brought it back within 11-10, but another three-run burst in the sixth clinched the win. Among the runs scored in the fourth was a two-run homer from Zach Funkhouser, his first of the tournament.

"Our top pitcher tossed the first game and changed the momentum," Spring Hill coach Mike Rado said. "Our bats came alive, and that was enough."

The lead was extended from there as it became the third Spring Hill Dixie representative to advance to the World Series this season, joining the Minors (9-10) and Ozone (10-11) teams. Playing in the Junior Boys state championship last year, this same group came up one game short of the World Series. The emotion was evident as it broke through Wednesday night.

"They are ecstatic," Rado said. "They have been working hard all summer, and this is just icing on the cake."



Dixie Boys (13-14) state championship

Spring Hill 4, Sebring 0

Spring Hill 14, Sebring 10


Big League World Series

Clearwater vs. Orwall National (Texas), 4:15


Little League Majors (11-12) state championship

South Brandon vs. Winter Garden, 1

Bayshore vs. North Springs, 1

Little League Juniors (13-14) state championship

West Pasco vs. North Springs, 1

Belmont Heights vs. Union Park, 10 a.m.

Little League Seniors (15-16) state championship

Dade City vs. Section 8, 4

Citrus Park vs. Section 5, 4

Spring Hill wins state Dixie baseball title 07/23/14 [Last modified: Wednesday, July 23, 2014 11:09pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Alex Faedo, Florida advance to face LSU in College World Series finals


    OMAHA, Neb. — Alex Faedo pitched three-hit ball for 71/3 innings in a second straight strong performance against TCU, and Florida moved to the College World Series finals with a 3-0 win Saturday night.

    Florida’s Austin Langworthy scores on a single by Mike Rivera in the second inning during a 3-0 victory over TCU.
  2. Jones: Bucs need success to get national respect


    Tampa Bay Times columnist Tom Jones offers up his Two Cents on the world of sports.

    No respect

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter walks the field during the second day of mandatory minicamp at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday, June 14, 2017. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times
  3. Rays journal: Jumbo Diaz falters after getting within a strike of ending rally

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Saturday's game got away starting with a leadoff walk in the seventh inning by Rays LHP Jose Alvarado, who was brought in exclusively to face Baltimore's lefty-swinging Seth Smith.

    Rays reliever Jumbo Diaz wipes his face as he walks off the mound after the Orioles score four during the seventh inning to give them a 7-3 lead. Diaz was one strike away from working out of the jam before he allowed a two-run double and a two-run homer on back-to-back pitches.
  4. Rookie Jake Faria dissatisfied with performance in Rays' loss to Orioles

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The rookie pitcher walked to his locker Saturday after tossing the fourth quality start in as many tries to begin his career. He held the potent Orioles bats to three runs and for six innings gave his team a chance to win.

    Orioles third baseman Manny Machado tags out the Rays’ Mallex Smith at third after a rundown in the first inning.
  5. Roger Mooney's takeaways from Saturday's Rays-Orioles game

    The Heater

    It was refreshing to see RHP Jacob Faria take the blame after the loss even though he gave the Rays a chance to win. Too often young pitchers are encouraged by what they did and not necessarily the outcome, but Faria, making just his fourth big-league start, came to the Trop to win, didn't, and pointed the finger …