Tuesday, February 20, 2018
Sports

HomeTeam Hot Shot winners: Alex Sexton and Maddie Neuhaus

Alex Sexton, Dunedin

A four-year starter for the Falcons, Sexton's role on this year's team was evident in a 4-3 win over Countryside on Thursday. As the starting shortstop, he made several key defensive plays. At the plate, he went 2-for-3 as the leadoff hitter. And on the mound he recorded his first save of the season by getting a strikeout for the final out.

He will be Dunedin's versatile jack-of-all trades in his senior year.

"I'm definitely most comfortable at shortstop," said Sexton, who played third and second base for the past three seasons. "And this is the second time that I've come in in relief. I always want the ball in those situations."

With a 3-2 win over Largo on Friday, Dunedin is 6-3. The Falcons don't play again until this weekend in Vero Beach. Sexton is hitting .500 so far with three doubles and four RBIs. He is hoping to have a good season and get some attention from college coaches.

"That's the plan," he said. "I want to go out the best way I can and then find a place to play next season."

Sexton's father, Ron, is Dunedin's head coach. Alex has not only played for his father in high school, but during some youth league seasons as well. He said it's been interesting having his dad in the same dugout.

"I enjoy it," Sexton said. "We're always talking about baseball and how the team can get better and what we need to do. It's been a lot of fun."

Maddie Neuhaus, East Lake

Neuhaus knew this would be her final season of competitive softball. She did not want to play in college.

All Neuhaus wanted as a senior was to have fun and play hard.

Oh, and make the playoffs.

The postseason was no guarantee. After starting 3-0, the Eagles lost two straight, including a game against defending Class 8A, District 7 champion Countryside.

East Lake fell out of first place in the district standings. It did not get any easier last week with games against playoff contenders Pinellas Park and Seminole.

Neuhaus helped East Lake get back on track thanks to her performance at the plate. She went 2-for-3 with a solo homer and scored both runs in a 2-0 win over the Patriots that snapped the Eagles' two-game losing streak.

The hits kept coming for Neuhaus throughout the week. She was a combined 6-for-8 in wins against Dunedin and Seminole.

East Lake is now alone in second place in the district, a game behind the Cougars.

"That game was against Pinellas Park was so big," Neuhaus said. "We just lost a big district game against Countryside so we were down. When we beat Pinellas Park we knew we were better and that's how we should always play. Last week really boosted our confidence up."

Neuhaus said she is undecided on a college but wants to attend UCF if she is accepted.

Comments
Longtime fan Dick Vitale sounds off on Raysí latest roster moves

Longtime fan Dick Vitale sounds off on Raysí latest roster moves

Longtime and extremely popular ESPN college basketball announcer Dick Vitale is arguably the Rays' most prominent fan.The Lakewood Ranch resident has season tickets adjacent to the visitors' dugout at Tropicana Field and is often seen at Rays games.A...
Updated: 14 minutes ago
Age is a valued number for motocross rider Chad Reed

Age is a valued number for motocross rider Chad Reed

Chad Reed is set to break one of the most impressive records in motorsports, but itís not the mark he wants most.The Dade City resident and native Australian has started 227 main events in the Monster Energy Supercross 450 cc series, tying former rid...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Bucs release two-time Pro Bowl running back Doug Martin

Bucs release two-time Pro Bowl running back Doug Martin

TAMPA — After six up and mostly down seasons, Doug Martin's run with the Bucs is over.The two-time Pro Bowl running back was released by Tampa Bay Tuesday, a move that was expected after he failed to rush for less than 500 yards in four of the ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Louisville must vacate 2013 basketball title, NCAA denies appeal

Louisville must vacate 2013 basketball title, NCAA denies appeal

LOUISVILLE, Ky. ó Louisville must vacate its 2013 menís basketball title following an NCAA appeals panelís decision to uphold sanctions against the menís program in the sex scandal case. The Cardinals will have to vacate 123 victories including the c...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Could Detroitís Mike Green be next domino to fall at deadline?

Could Detroitís Mike Green be next domino to fall at deadline?

The Red Wings have started wheeling and dealing, shipping goalie Petr Mrazek to the Flyers for a package of conditional draft picks.That has shifted focus to a potential Lightning target, Red Wings defenseman Mike Green, who is expected to be moved b...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Nationally revered runners to appear at Gasparilla

Nationally revered runners to appear at Gasparilla

Two of the national running society's most inspirational figures are set to make guest appearances this weekend at the Publix Gasparilla Distance Classic.Four-time U.S. Olympic marathoner Meb Keflezighi, who retired from the sport last year, and comp...
Updated: 3 hours ago
U.S. biathletes, who shoot guns to compete, speak out on gun control for America

U.S. biathletes, who shoot guns to compete, speak out on gun control for America

DAEGWALLYEONG, South Korea ó For his profession, Lowell Bailey wears a .22 caliber rifle strapped to his back. It has taken him across the world and to four Olympic Games, most recently to the biathlon mixed relay Tuesday night at Alpensia Biathlon C...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Rays tread new turf (literally) for second straight year

Rays tread new turf (literally) for second straight year

PORT CHARLOTTE — Tropicana Field is getting new turf — again.Shaw Sports will replace the surface installed last spring in a mutual decision with the Rays that it did not look as good — from the stands or on TV — as expected.T...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Some big Bucs roster decisions are looming

Some big Bucs roster decisions are looming

The Bucs plan to release running back Doug Martin and defensive tackle Chris Baker sometime before the NFL scouting combine which begins Feb. 27 in Indianapolis.There likely will be more, but they still are undecided on the future of defensive ends R...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Hereís really how to fix Major League Baseball

Hereís really how to fix Major League Baseball

ST. PETERSBURG — Major League Baseball has a problem. A big problem.The games are too long. They are too boring. They are too slow.Something needed to be done and, well, Major League Baseball did something.The brain trust put those big brains t...
Updated: 3 hours ago