Hits’ barrage leaves Clay as lone region survivor

Randy Lefko
Posted 5/18/17

JACKSONVILLE – Clay High baseball rallied to an 8-0 lead into the third inning en route to a 13-4 win over Stanton Prep in the region 1-6A quarterfinal. Clay (18-11), on Tues., May 16, will …

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Hits’ barrage leaves Clay as lone region survivor

Posted

JACKSONVILLE – Clay High baseball rallied to an 8-0 lead into the third inning en route to a 13-4 win over Stanton Prep in the region 1-6A quarterfinal. Clay (18-11), on Tues., May 16, will travel to Paxon (14-12), a 2-0 winner over district 4-6A champion Ponte Vedra in a mild upset in that region quarterfinal. In the top of the region 1-6A bracket is Gulf Breeze (20-7) vs. Mosley High (24-2).
“We talk about the turnaround of the season all the time and these kids just keep believing in themselves,” said Clay coach Josh Persinger. “I think they just don’t want the season to end.”
With Austin Burke starting on the mound for Clay, the Blue Devils’ bats came alive in the top of the second inning with doubles from Cole Escher and Josh Lemen and singles from Burke and Kevin Jackson with Connor Solomon slashing a hard grounder that bounced out of the Stanton third baseman’s glove for a single. Clay finished with a 6-0 lead.
In the third, Andy Yarbrough singled in Burke who stretched a centerfield double to a triple in the at-bat in front of Yarbrough. Escher doubled in Yarbrough to complete the scoring at 8-0.
Stanton answered with three runs off a double, two singles, an error and two walks before Jackson dove under a long fly ball in right field to leave three baserunners stranded.
In the fifth, Josh Lemen doubled to push Escher in and score the game 11-3.
In the sixth inning, Clay drew two walks; Jackson and Micheal Styron, to set up a sacrifice fly by Escher that scored two more runs.
Lemen finished with three hits; Jackson and Spence with two apiece with Escher nailing three runs batted in. Lemen and Solomon both hit for two runs batted it. Solomon finished with five strikeouts in three innings of relief on the mound with Burke adding two as the starter.

In other region baseball action:

Region 1-8A

After getting hammered 17-4 in the district 2-8A final by Fletcher High School, the Oakleaf High Knights baseball got beat 6-0 by Tallahassee Lincoln in their region 1-8A quarterfinal to end the Knights’ season.


Region 2-5A

Keystone Heights put the brakes on after a dominating district championship win over P.K. Yonge with a 4-1 region quarterfinal loss to The Villages, the district 6-5A runnerups behind South Sumter. South Sumter beat P.K. Yonge 6-0 in the second region semifinal to replay the district 6-5A title game in the region 2-5A semifinal.

Region 1-3A
St. Johns Country Day School, on Wed.,May 10, lost 11-2 to Tallahassee Maclay to end their season. Troy Myers hit for two runs batted in with pitchers Troy Britts and Jacob Asdot combining for five strikeouts. The Spartans finish at 16-11.

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