1-Loss Clay to play undefeated St. Johns

By Randy Lefko Sports Editor
Posted 3/10/21

GREEN COVE SPRINGS - This week was going to be a showdown week of baseball with three area teams holding unbeaten season records; Clay, Fleming Island and St. Johns Country Day School until the Blue …

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1-Loss Clay to play undefeated St. Johns

Posted

GREEN COVE SPRINGS - This week was going to be a showdown week of baseball with three area teams holding unbeaten season records; Clay, Fleming Island and St. Johns Country Day School until the Blue Devils blew that storyline with a solo homer from Bolles downing Clay 1-0 on Thursday.

Clay, now 6-1, and St. Johns, 7-0, are set to face off on Fri., March 12 at St. Johns for one chip of county supremacy while over at Fleming Island, now 5-0, the Golden Eagles will visit St. Johns on March 18 in a week of clashes of titans.

“The talent pool in the county right now is probably the best in one county in the entire state,” said St. Johns coach Tom Lucas, who beat Bolles 2-0 in a seventh inning rally and Bartram Trail 5-2 with five runs in the final two innings. “It makes for some great baseball and our Friday game with Clay could either be a 1-1 game into the 13th inning with the pitching firepower on both sides or a 14-12 game with the hitting prowess also on both sides. It is that good.”

Lucas has gotten explosive hitting from Brad Hodges and Luke Shannahan, who has two homers recently, plus a return to strength from Jason Oman from an injury.

“Luke has been hitting hard and Jason has come back from an injury and got hot real fast,” said Lucas. “Hodges is the leader and if he clicks one, the others want to keep the momentum going.”

Clay, minus the loss to Bolles on a frigid night in Green Cove, got a jolt early in the season with a February 23 4-0 win over Trinity Christian behind 10 whiffs from pitcher Brandon Adams and strong relief from Richard Long. Long also hit a key double.

“I am still juggling lineups to try and find the best spot for our nine on the field out of our strong 15-18 man roster,” said Clay coach Josh Persinger. “I don’t think we’ve had the same lineup in two consecutive games yet. Everyone worked so hard in the off season that the strength here is our depth. They are definitely drinking the Koolaid that our program is built on working hard everyday to improve.”

Clay has Baldwin and Menendez prior to St. Johns and Persinger cautions thinking ahead.

“We all know that Clay sometimes starts a little slow and peaks later,” said Persinger. “If we were playing on all cylinders right now at 6-1, I’d be concerned that we are peaking too early.”

At Fleming Island, 5-0 after a strong doubleheader Friday with Georgia’s Colquitt County, with a stacked pitching roster in his back pocket, coach Grant Bigilin has his own stack of firepower to throw at opposition bats.

“Ours is senior leadership; we have 10 guys in the lineup; all four year players for me except one, that have set the bar very high,” said Bigilin. “We are still focusing on cleaning up little things each game, but I think we’ve had just one bad game thus far.”

Bigilin has lighting bolt arms led by senior Cody Carwile.

“It’s nice to have six or seven arms to choose from,” said Bigilin. “We still have things to improve like, against Ridgeview, we had bases loaded and scored one run off it. We have to piece together consistent innings.”

Bigilin noted catcher Jack Gidcumb as the hot bat with a .750 batting average and just power everywhere.

“He gets on and we put a runner in that has scored a bunch of runs off solid baserunning,” said Bigilin. “Our 5-6-7 batters are as strong as some 1-2-3s which makes our batting lineup dangerous from top to bottom.”

Fleming Island has Bartram Trail,

Oakleaf and Ponte Vedra on the slate prior to St. Johns.

St. Johns Country Day School Baseball Schedule/Results

Record as of March 6; 7-0

Feb. 10 Beat Baldwin 9-0 (6 runs in second; James Oman HR, Walker Matthews single, Connor Moore walk, Finn Howell single, Jordan Taylor 2RBI triple; Finn Howell 3Ks, Jacob Thomas 5Ks)

Feb. 13 Beat Ponte Vedra 9-8 (5 Runs in 6th-Connor Moore single, Finn Howell single, James Oman single, Brad Hodges RBI single (8-6), Finn Howell hit by pitch, Walker Matthews grounder (8-7), Mason Davis CF error (9-8); Kody Daneault 2Ks in relief for win)

Feb. 17 Beat Bolles 2-0 (2 Runs 7th-Mason Davis single, Luke Shannahan walks, Error 3B (2-0); Jordan Taylor 2Ks in 7th; Finn Howell 8Ks for win)

Feb. 20 Beat Bartram Trail 5-2 (3 Runs 6th, 2 Runs 7th-Brad Hodges walk (Run on passed ball (1-1), Luke Shannahan walk, Jace Thomas single to load bases, S Andrade RBI single (2-1), Connor Moore RBI single (3-1), 7th-James Oman E5 single, Brad Hodges walk, SAC bunt Mason Davis RBI (4-1), Walk, Shawn Andrade grounder scores Hodges (5-1))

Feb. 26 Beat McIntosh Cty (GA) 9-1 (7 run last three innings-2RBIs each: Jordan Taylor (2 Doubles), James Oman (2 triples), Brad Hodges; Connor Moore solo HR (6-1); Jace Thomas 5Ks)

Feb. 27 Beat Glynn Academy (GA) 8-0 (6 Runs in 7th-Luke Shannahan single, Jace Thomas SAC bunt, Shawn Andrade single, Connor Moore bunt (3-0), Finn Howell grounder, Jordan Taylor walk, Shawn Andrade scores on wild pitch (4-0), Isaiah Mamea walk, Brad Hodges 3RBI double (7-0), Tyce Moore E8 (8-0);

Feb. 27 Beat Mill Creek (GA) 8-5 (4 runs in 3rd and 6th; Finn Howell 5Ks; Brad Hodges 2RBI double in third, Connor Moore 2RBI single in 6th)

March 3 Beat Ridgeview 11-3 (Shawn Andrade double, Connor Moore RBI triple (3-0), Finn Howell RBI single (4-0), Brad Hodges SAC fly (5-0), Tyce Moore single, Luke Shannahan 2-run HR (7-0), Mason Davis walk, Jace Thomas RBI single (8-0)

March 5 Beat University Christian 11-1 (4 runs 4th; 11 hits, Jace Thomas 5Ks, Luke Shannahan solo HR, Connor Moore double)

Thurs., March 11 vs. Christ’s Church Academy

Fri., March 12 vs. Clay

Tues., March 16 at Trinity Christian

Wed., March 17 at Baldwin

Thurs., March 18 vs. Fleming Island

Clay Baseball Schedule/Results

Record as of March 3: 6-1

Feb. 16 Beat Keystone Heights 11-2 (Keystone Heights up 2-1 1st; CHS scores 3 runs in third-Blake Parker double, Richard Long RBI single, Dylan Greene doubles, Logan Wilson RBI single (3-2); 5 runs in 6th-Parker walk, Long single, Max Williams walk, Logan Wilson RBI single, Steven Reiss 2 RBI double (9-2), Wyatt Root RBI single (10-2) Wilson scores on wild pitch (11-2). Richard Long 4Ks.

Feb. 19 Beat Baker County 5-3 (CHS down 3-1 in 5th; Richard Long RBI single (3-2), Logan Williams 3RBI double (5-3). Steven Reiss 7Ks.

Feb. 23 Beat Trinity Christian 4-0 (Brandon Adams 10Ks, Richad Long relief; RBIs to Long, Logan Wilson, Aidan Hampton. Long doubles, scores on error 1st (1-0), Long walks, Max Williams single, Logan Wilson RBI single (2-0), Hampton SAC fly, Williams scores (3-0) 3rd; Barrett hit by pitch, Wyatt Root singles, Blake Parker bunt for single, Long grounder RBI (4-0).

Feb. 25 Beat Oakleaf 2-1 (CHS 2-0 in 5th-Alex Burke double, Blake Parker single, Max Williams RBI pop out (1-0), Parker steals third, Walks scores Parker from third (2-0). Steven Reiss 5Ks.

Feb. 26 Beat Middleburg 9-0 (Mason Barrett 3RBIs; Doubles: Wyatt Root, Max Williams, Aidan Hampton RBI to 1-0. Logan Wilson 5Ks.

Wed., March 3 vs. Ponte Vedra Won 11-1

Thurs., March 4 vs. Bolles, Lost 1-0 off solo homer

Mon., March 8 vs. Baldwin 7 p.m.

Fri., March 12 at St. Johns Country Day School 7 p.m.

Fleming Island Baseball

Schedule/Results

Record as of March 3: 6-0

Feb. 16 Beat Paxon 10-0 (4 runs in third and fifth inning, 15 hits; HR Aiden Mastantuno; Jack Gidcumb, Abram Summers (2 Doubles each) Marcus Murray double; Dylan Dudones 9Ks 3 Inning)

Feb. 18 Beat Nease 3-0 (Cody Carwile 12Ks, 1 Hit; Abram Summers 3RBIs, double; Aiden Mastentuno double)

Feb. 24 Beat Episcopal 12-9 (5 runs in 4th; Drew Homitz 3RBIs on 3-3 double; Aiden Mastentuno 6Ks)

Feb. 25 Beat St. Joseph Academy 9-2 (Angelo Scioti 3RBIs, 2RBI double in 5th)

Feb. 26 Beat Ridgeview 5-1 (Cody Carwile 12Ks, Justin Lebesch, Jack Gidcumb 2 Hits)

March 5 Beat Colquitt Cy (GA) 6-1 (5 runs in third: Two errors singles by Scionti, Lebesch, Gidcumb, Fielders choice SAC Fly Homitz; Dylan Dudones 5Ks five innings)

March 5 Beat Colquitt Cty 8-2 (4 Runs in fifth; Drew Homitz 3RBIs; Cody Carwile 10Ks)

Sat., March 6 vs. Lowndes Co. (GA) Won 6-1

Tues., March 9 vs. Bartram Trail 6:30 p.m.

Thurs., March 11 at Oakleaf 6 p.m.

Fri., March 12 at Ponte Vedra

Thurs., March 18 at SJCDS 7 p.m.

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