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)

Little League

Pinch-hit homer boosts Citrus Park to win over defending World Series champion

Warner Robins’ A.J. Priaulx heads back to second and is soon called safe as Wyatt Reid waits to make a play for Citrus Park, which can advance to the tournament’s semifinals with a win today.

\uFEFFCARRIE PRATT | Times

Warner Robins’ A.J. Priaulx heads back to second and is soon called safe as Wyatt Reid waits to make a play for Citrus Park, which can advance to the tournament’s semifinals with a win today.

GULFPORT — Lee Huckaby has battled mysterious, flu-like symptoms for nearly all of Citrus Park's playoff run this summer.

Huckaby, in fact, didn't practice with his teammates before Citrus Park's game Monday against defending regional and World Series champ Warner Robins (Georgia) at the Little League major baseball Southeast Regional Tournament.

In the fourth inning, however, Huckaby may have turned a few stomachs in the Warner Robins dugout. Huckaby, pinch-hitting for Darren Miller, blasted a pitch from Payton Purvis down the leftfield line and just inside the foul pole to give Citrus Park a 3-1 lead. The home run would prove to be the winning hit in Citrus Park's 3-2 victory.

"That poor kid, he was sick all during districts, he was sick all during sectionals and he was sick halfway through states," Citrus Park manager Joe McGuire said. "He couldn't practice. He's been to the doctor numerous times. They don't know what's wrong. He stopped taking his medication, and he's getting better, so you figure it out."

Huckaby wasted little time at the plate. He swung at the first pitch from Purvis — a fastball — and crushed it.

"There was no way I was going to miss this (tournament)," Huckaby said.

Citrus Park had a golden opportunity to put the game away after loading the bases with no outs in the fifth but failed to capitalize. Purvis struck out two batters and got the final hitter to bounce into a force a second base.

Georgia (1-1) cut the lead to one in the sixth when No. 4 hitter Cody Carter smashed a home run to leftfield. A Citrus Park error and two hits loaded the bases for Georgia with two outs, but pinch-hitter Spencer Sato bounced a slow roller in front of the plate that Ryan McCullers was able to field and step on home plate to record the final out.

"We squeaked it out," McGuire said.

Citrus Park took a 1-0 lead in the first when Wyatt Reid singled home Brett Wilkosz, who came on as a pinch-runner after Kevin Merrell led off with a base hit.

Georgia tied the game at one in the second after a Citrus Park error, but Citrus Park regained the lead in the bottom half of the inning when Dan Martin's single scored Wilkosz.

Citrus Park can punch its ticket for Wednesday's semifinal round today with a win over Tullahoma (Tennessee) at 4 p.m.

S. CAROLINA 8, N. CAROLINA 4: South Carolina scored four runs in the second and fourth innings to outlast North Carolina and earn a spot in the semifinals. Jesse Horine hit a three-run homer for South Carolina (2-0) in the fourth, and Dalton Helms, who went 3-for-4, followed Horine with a solo shot to give South Carolina an 8-0 lead. North Carolina (0-2) got three runs in the fifth and another in the sixth on Justin Ray's solo home run.

ALABAMA 6, VIRGINIA 5: Alabama erased a 5-1 deficit and took the lead in a four-run fifth to advance to the semifinals. Matt Hall hit a two-run home run in the fifth to pull Alabama (2-0) to within a run. Tyler Atchison followed later in the inning with a two-run shot. Capped by Scott Parkhurst's two-run homer, Virginia (0-2) scored four in the first, and Will Hodges' RBI double in the third gave Virginia a 5-1 lead.

TENNESSEE 2, W. VIRGINIA 1: Tennessee took a 2-0 lead and held on for a one-run win. Scott Jones hit a solo homer in the second and Cody Kennedy doubled home Hunter Waites in the third to give Tennessee (1-1) a two-run advantage. West Virginia (0-2) got a run back in the fifth on Austin Hensley's solo homer. West Virginia had an opportunity to tie it in the sixth with runners at third and first with two outs, but Jones, who came on in relief for Tennessee, got the final out to close out the game.

Pinch-hit homer boosts Citrus Park to win over defending World Series champion 08/04/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, August 5, 2008 2:05pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rays add another piece to bullpen, acquiring Steve Cishek for Erasmo

    Blogs

    The Rays made another deal to change the look of their bullpen, acquiring RHP Steve Cishek from the Mariners for RHP Erasmo Ramirez.

    Cishek, 31, has a 3,15 ERA in 20 games for the Mariners this season, and a 2.83 ERA over parts of eight with the Marlins, Cardinals and Mariners.

    Ramirez, who was …

  2. Why don't defensive players get more Heisman Trophy love?

    Blogs

    In a story we posted online earlier today (and coming to your doorstep in Sunday's Tampa Bay Times), I made my case for why Florida State safety Derwin James should be a preseason …

    Boston College defensive end Harold Landry didn't get any Heisman love last year, despite leading the country in sacks.
  3. On the defensive: Heisman history not in Derwin James' favor

    College

    The lowdown on Derwin James? "No offense to (Michigan's Jabrill) Peppers (a Heisman finalist last year)," ESPN analyst Rex Ryan says, "but he only wished he was the player this kid was." (Monica Herndon, Times)
  4. Kevin Kiermaier: Return to action Thursday 'didn't set the world on fire'

    The Heater

    Rays center fielder Kevin Kiermaier's return from the hip injury that sidelined him since June 8 could have gone better Thursday in Port Charlotte. He broke two bats and went hitless in two at bats while playing for the Class A Charlotte Stone Crabs.

    Kevin Kiermaier takes cuts in the cage during batting practice before the game between the Rays and Texas Rangers Saturday at Tropicana Field. [WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times]
  5. Live updates, what you need to know about Bucs training camp (w/photos, video)

    Bucs

    Bucs training camp is here.

    This morning was the first of 13 practices that are free and open to the general public, so we have all the details to answer your questions about where and when and so on.

    Dirk Koetter is nothing if not precise, with practices starting at 8:45 a.m. and running until 10:27. [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times]