Santa Fe win streak ends at North Marion

Old baseball, glove, and bat on field with base and outfield in background

The Class 4A fourth-ranked Santa Fe (Alachua) baseball team entered Tuesday night’s game at fifth-ranked North Marion (Citra) on a six-game winning streak, but the big showdown never materialized.

The Raiders’ win streak ended in an avalanche of walks against the hosting Colts.

Santa Fe (7-2) walked eight batters in the first two innings and issued 11 free passes for the game.

North Marion senior left-hander Karson Lindsey threw a five-inning no-hitter while driving in three runs, including a two-run home run, as the Colts (6-2) blasted the visiting Raiders, 13-0, in run-rule fashion.

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The two teams combined for 16 walks, as Lindsey issued five free passes in the second and third innings and also hit a batter. But Lindsey worked around the wildness and stranded five Santa Fe base runners, including bases loaded in the third.

Lindsey hit senior Ben Thompson to start the third and, after back-to-back strikeouts, walked sophomore Earl Findley and senior Kyler Nowling to load the bases. But North Marion center fielder Sam Cauthen made a diving catch on a line drive by senior Dylan Evans to save at least one run.

Lindsey rolled through the last two innings, striking out four and retiring the last six in a row.

The Santa Fe pitchers had no such luck working around walks.

Santa Fe senior starter Zane Starling, who entered the game with a zero ERA, 15 strikeouts and only two walks in 7.2 innings this season, walked three of the first four hitters he faced with only a fielder’s choice in between.

Starling nearly worked around the walks, but with two outs Michael Long delivered a two-run double for a 2-0 North Marion lead. Two wild pitches brought Long in to make it 3-0.

After his fourth walk, Starling was pulled after only 2/3 of an inning.

Three more walks and two bases loaded hit by pitches extended the North Marion lead to 6-0 in the second inning.

The Colts scored five more runs in the third, highlighted by a bases-clearing double by Long. Lindsey drove in the final two North Marion runs in the fourth on a two-run shot over the left field wall.

In the end, four Santa Fe pitchers walked 11 and hit three North Marion batters in four innings of work.

Santa Fe now takes the rest of the week off for spring break before playing at Baker County (Glen St. Mary) on March 23.

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