The Buchholz baseball team entered its Tuesday game against Bishop Kenny (Jacksonville) an undefeated at Bobcat Field this season.
Buchholz junior Anthony Wilkie made sure that record remained unblemished at 6-0 with a dominant effort on the mound.
Wilkie, a Clemson commit, struck out 11 and walked only one through six innings, including seven K's in a row at one point, and junior shortstop Cooper Collins got things going for the Bobcats with a two-run homer in the first inning as Buchholz eased past Bishop Kenny, 6-2.
"He (Wilkie) did a great job for us coming out early," Buchholz coach Ron Brooks said. "He's been pitching well for us and is a big, strong kid. You saw what he is able to do when he can locate his fastball, and his breaking ball was really good tonight."
The Bobcats (9-2) got things going right away in the opening inning against Bishop Kenny starting pitcher Ben Monger. Donny Hiebert led off with an infield single off the third baseman's glove. Then Collins followed with his first homer of the season, a two-run shot over the left field wall, for a Buchholz 2-0 lead.
"I think Cooper is an unsung hero for us sometimes," Brooks said. "He does a lot for us. He steadies us on the infield, gets on base a lot. He is really good at the top of the hitter, he gets big hits and moves people over. It was good to see him get rewarded tonight."
Meanwhile, Wilkie was cruising as he struck out seven batters in a row from the second through the fourth innings while allowing only an infield single to Bishop Kenny leadoff hitter Joshmar Carbonell.
Buchholz extended the lead to 3-0 in the fourth as second baseman Cedaris Smith led off with a single, stole second base, went to third on a wild pitch, and scored on a sacrifice fly by catcher Kai So.
Bishop Kenny (4-6) got on the board in the fifth inning getting a walk, a hit batter, and two infield singles, as Carbonell drove in a run with a ball off Wilkie's glove.
Buchholz put the game away with a three-run sixth with pinch-hitter J.J. Gardner driving in two runs with a single and another pinch-hitter, Stuart Ding, adding another RBI hit.
Buchholz has now won three games at Bobcat Field in the last six days.
The Bobcats host North Marion (Citra) on Thursday, who Buchholz beat on the road 9-7 in 8 innings on Feb. 28.
P.K. Yonge 4, Vanguard (Ocala) 3 (8) - Junior Mack Todd made his first varsity baseball start on the mound a memorable one Tuesday in leading P.K. Yonge to a dramatic 4-3 win in eight innings over visiting Ocala Vanguard.
While he limited the Knights (7-5) to two earned runs on just five hits over seven innings (98 pitches, six strikeouts), it was Todd’s run-scoring single in the bottom of the eighth inning that gave the Blue Wave (7-4) the season sweep after having beaten Vanguard 12-9 on Feb. 28 in Ocala.
After two outs, Aidan Mansfield’s fly ball was misplayed in left field for a two-base error that set up Todd’s heroics.
Vanguard took a 1-0 lead in the first inning when Adam Oxendine doubled and later scored on Luke Oxendine’s single.
Senior Jacob Pridgen’s run-scoring groundout tied the game in the bottom of the inning for P.K. Yonge.
Todd kept Vanguard off the scoreboard until two runs in the sixth, with singles by Jake Wells and Clayton Antonucci, a sacrifice fly by Luke Oxendine and a passed ball doing the damage.
The Blue Wave finally got to Vanguard pitcher Luke Oxendine to tie the score at 3-all with two runs in the seventh. A walk to Mack and Luke Sparkman’s single started the frame for PKY, which scored two outs later on Micah Gratto’s single and a passed ball that allowed Sparkman to cross the plate.
Lane Sparkman relieved Mack and pitched a 1-2-3 eighth to pick up the win.
P.K. Yonge next visits Bell for a 7 p.m. game Thursday and then travels across town to Oak Hall for a 4:15 p.m. game on Friday, which will be broadcast on Mainstreet Daily News beginning at 4 p.m.