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GATORS, MUSTANGS EASE INTO TITLE MATCH

Land O'Lakes and host Mitchell set up a Class 6A, District 10 final showdown with mercy-rule victories. The Gators finished off Sunlake 10-0 in six innings before the Mustangs followed suit beating River Ridge 11-1 in six.

Both teams are 21-5 and will turn the ball over to their No. 2 starters next after using their aces Wednesday. Each delivered as Zach Whitaker tossed a shutout and went 3-for-4 for Land O'Lakes, and FSU-bound Cobi Johnson was equally efficient for Mitchell.

Whitaker had two doubles and a triple, his two-RBI double making it 9-0 before Kyle Sheffield ended it with another double to the wall.

"I like this field," said Whitaker, who earlier this season recorded the win along with having a four-hit night at Mitchell. "I had it working tonight. Once the changeup got going ...that was as good as I've felt using that pitch since early in the season."

In all, the Gators (21-5) collected seven doubles among their 13 hits. Whitaker allowed five hits (two each by Colton King and Zac Howard) with no walks and six strikeouts.

Starting the second time through the order LOL had four doubles in its first five at-bats.

Mitchell jumped on Knights starter Jason Heinrich for three runs in the first. Marcus Begg (3-for-4, four RBI) and Eddie Goscicki had run-scoring singles followed by a sac fly from P.J. DeJesus. River Ridge answered with Harry Keslar's RBI single, but on a Heinrich single - already the Knights' fifth at the time - Mitchell's Blake Hart gunned down Zach Starkey at home to end the inning.

After that both pitchers settled into grooves until the bottom of the fifth when Heinrich plunked Chris McCormick and walked Johnson. Begg crushed a double to straightway center to bring them home, and Goscicki's single pushed the margin to 6-1.

Johnson struck out the side in an impressive top of the sixth, then drove in a pair of runs with a double in the bottom of the inning. After that Begg added an RBI double and DeJesus finished the night with his two-run single.

Land O'Lakes was 8-0 in district play this year.

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