Area baseball teams go for 0-for-5 in state playoffs

Santa Fe's Dylan Lovelace went the distance and struck out four Arnold batters in the Class 4A-Region 1 Quarterfinals on Wednesday.
Santa Fe's Dylan Lovelace went the distance and struck out four Arnold batters in the Class 4A-Region 1 Quarterfinals on Wednesday.
Photo by C.J. Gish

There were no upsets on Wednesday night in the high school baseball playoffs involving area teams.

That’s actually bad news.

Five area baseball teams lost to higher-seeded teams in the FHSAA regional playoffs.

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In fact, two games were decided in the final at-bat.

In the Class 2A-Region 1 Quarterfinals, No. 5 seed Oak Hall lost at No. 4 seed University Christian (Jacksonville), 6-5, and No. 8 seed St. Francis Catholic Academy lost at top seed St. Johns Country Day (Orange Park), 8-1.

Oak Hall trailed by three runs entering the sixth but the Eagles rallied to tie it at 3-3 before the Christians (18-9) answered with three of their own in the bottom of the sixth.

Junior catcher Brody Beaupre (2-for-3, RS) and senior designated hitter Jack Steen (1-for-3, 2 RBI) led the offense for Oak Hall, which outhit UCS, 7-5.

Senior twin brothers Jackson and Harrison Beach each had a hit for the Eagles, along with senior Ethan Szlachetka (1-for-3, RBI, RS).

Oak Hall, which defeated St. Francis Catholic last Thursday to win 2A-District 4 title, finished the season with a record of 13-6.

Santa Fe's Dylan Doria barely missed tagging an Arnold player out at third base in the third inning of the Class 4A-Region 1 Quarterfinals on Wednesday.
Photo by C.J. Gish Santa Fe’s Dylan Doria barely missed tagging an Arnold player out at third base in the third inning of the Class 4A-Region 1 Quarterfinals on Wednesday.

Senior Troy Freeman pitched six innings and allowed four earned runs on five hits with four walks and three strikeouts.

St. Francis Catholic, which was making its first state playoff appearance in almost 10 years, got off to a good start in Orange Park.

Freshman Colin Kuruppacherry (1-for-2, RBI) drove in the only run of the game for the Wolves in the first inning.

However, the Spartans (21-6) scored the final eight runs of the game.

Keystone Heights, the No. 8 seed in the 3A-Region 1 Quarterfinals, put up a good battle in the Panhandle but lost at No. 1 seed Pensacola Catholic, 5-2.

The Indians, who finished the season with a record of 20-9, led 2-0 in the bottom of the fourth but the nationally ranked Crusaders (27-1) scored five unanswered runs to advance.

Santa Fe lost a heartbreaker in Alachua.

In a Class 4A-Region 1 Quarterfinal, the No. 8 seed Raiders led top seed Arnold (Panama City Beach), 3-2, heading into the top of the seventh inning.

However, University of Florida commit Cooper Moss hit a two-out, two-run home run to stun the Raiders, 4-3.

Senior Dylan Lovelace, a Santa Fe College signee, pitched a complete game and allowed just two earned runs on six hits with one walk and four strikeouts.

He also led the Raiders (14-13) with two hits including a double and an RBI.

Santa Fe's Angel Irizarry scores in the second inning against Arnold in the Class 4A-Region 1 Quarterfinals on Wednesday.
Photo by C.J. Gish Santa Fe’s Angel Irizarry scores in the second inning against Arnold in the Class 4A-Region 1 Quarterfinals on Wednesday.

Arnold (22-5) will play No. 4 seed Wakulla in Saturday’s regional semifinal.

The War Eagles (21-5-1) were down to their final three outs against No. 5 seed Suwannee (Live Oak) in the other regional quarterfinal.

However, senior Haden Klees hit a two-run walk-off home run to stun the Bulldogs, 6-5, and end Suwannee’s season at 16-9-1.

There are still four area baseball teams remaining.

Buchholz, which moved its regional semifinal up to 6:30 p.m., is hosting Pace on Friday night in a Class 6A-Region 1 Semifinal, while Class 1A schools Union County (Lake Butler), Newberry, and Trenton are playing in the regional final on Saturday.

FHSAA SOFTBALL – SCORES

Wednesday, May 8

Class 3A-Region 1 Quarterfinals

2 Episcopal (Jacksonville) 10, 7 Keystone Heights 0 (6)

3 West Nassau (Callahan) 6, 6 Suwannee (Live Oak) 2

Class 3A-Region 2 Quarterfinals

2 Santa Fe (Alachua) 7, 7 Astronaut (Titusville) 1

Class 2A-Region 1 Quarterfinals

2 Providence (Jacksonville) 16, 7 Countryside Christian 5 (5)

FHSAA BASEBALL – SCORES

Wednesday, May 8

Class 2A-Region 1 Quarterfinals

1 St. Johns Country Day (Orange Park) 8, 8 St. Francis Catholic Academy 1

4 University Christian (Jacksonville) 6, 5 Oak Hall 5

Class 3A-Region 1 Quarterfinals

1 Pensacola Catholic 5, 8 Keystone Heights 2

Class 4A-Region 1

1 Arnold (Panama City Beach) 4, 8 Santa Fe (Alachua) 3

4 Wakulla (Crawfordville) 6, 5 Suwannee (Live Oak) 5

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