Newberry, Trenton advance to district final

Trenton's Mason Vuncannon beats the throw to Chiefland's Saia Wilson in the bottom of the second inning on Tuesday.
Photo by C.J. Gish

The Newberry Panthers baseball team will play for its third straight District 7-1A title after nipping Dixie County (Cross City) 3-1 in a semifinal matchup at Trenton.

The Panthers (13-8) got a two-run double from junior catcher Landen Wilcox in the fourth inning and senior pitcher Landon Gruenwald struck out 10 while allowing five hits over six innings to pick up the win for top-seed Newberry on the mound.

No. 4 seed Dixie County (9-11) struck first in the top of the first on a bases-loaded walk by Bret Nettles. But Gruenwald struck out Drew Hatcher with the bases loaded to keep the Bears lead at 1-0.

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Photo by C.J. Gish Newberry pitcher Landon Gruenwald struck out 10 in the Panthers’ 3-1 win over Dixie County on Tuesday.

Newberry answered in the bottom of the first as two walks by Dixie County starter Andrew Pleasant led to a Panthers run on a fielder’s choice. Pleasant was pulled for senior Caden Reed, who also retired the next two hitters of the inning to keep the score at 1-1.

Reed would pitch the rest of the game for Dixie County. He retired the first nine Newberry batters he faced before Braxton Brady singled with one out in the fourth. Jackson McDavid followed with a single as well and, with runners at first and third, Wilcox delivered the big hit over the head of Nettles in center field.

Dixie County got two runners on in the fifth before Gruenwald got the final out and had runners on base in the sixth and seventh innings. But after a one-out walk to Jordan Marlo by Ben Beck in the seventh brought the tying run to the plate, Nick Lanier bounced into a double play to end the game and move the Panthers to Thursday’s championship game.

Trenton 9, Chiefland 3

No. 2 seed Trenton (19-6) pulled away from rival Chiefland for a 9-3 romp in the second semifinal game.

Chiefland got on the board first in the top of the second on a Trenton error, but the Tigers came back with two runs in the bottom of the inning, highlighted by an RBI triple by senior starting pitcher Colby Wilson.

Chiefland (13-8), the No. 3 seed, tied the game 2-2 in the top of the third on an RBI single by starting pitcher Tyler Bass.

Trenton regained the lead in the bottom of the third as two Chiefland errors helped bring home 8th grader Brent Bivens to give the Tigers a 3-2 lead. The Indians committed five errors in the game.

The game stayed that way until two Trenton runs scored on one play in the fifth inning. Mason Vuncannon drove in Bivens with a sacrifice fly to center, and the throw to third got away allowing courtesy runner Stephen Furst to score to make it 5-2 Tigers.

Trenton put the game away with four runs in the sixth, highlighted by a two-RBI double by Dax Becker and a two-run error by Chiefland first baseman Wade Gore.

Newberry and Trenton will meet at 7 p.m. on Thursday. Both teams won at home as they split the two meetings in the regular season.

Photo by C.J. Gish Chiefland’s Ethan Horne dives back to first base beating the throw to Trenton’s Zaiden Bon in the top of the second inning on Tuesday.

P.K. Yonge 14, Interlachen 0

P.K. Yonge scored eight runs in the first inning and five in the second en route Tuesday to a 14-0 District 4-3A baseball win over Interlachen at Ocala Trinity Catholic.

The Blue Wave’s fifth consecutive win puts them in Wednesday’s 4 p.m. semifinal vs. Keystone Heights (16-8), which defeated Crescent City, 6-4, in Tuesday’s later quarterfinal. Trinity Catholic plays Daytona Beach Father Lopez in Wednesday’s other semifinal at 7 p.m. Wednesday’s winners meet for the title at 6:30 p.m. Thursday.

P.K. Yonge (18-7) took advantage of Interlachen starting pitcher Cole Cumbus (1-5), who walked three, hit three batters and gave up Nick Roach’s RBI single before being pulled with the Rams (7-18) trailing 4-0 in the bottom of the first.

The Blue Wave scored four more runs in the frame on Ben Johnson’s run-scoring ground out, a two-run error on Micah Gratto’s ground ball and Jacob Pridgen’s RBI single.

Big hits from Johnson (RBI single), Gratto (two-run triple) and Pridgen (RBI single) keyed P.K. Yonge’s five-run second.

Gratto singled, moved to second on Pridgen’s single and scored on Xander Sanetz’s double to cap the Blue Wave’s scoring in the fourth.

Meanwhile, Roach (2-3) worked the first three innings on the mound for PKY, allowing just two hits and striking out four. Mack Todd and Aidan Mansfield worked the final two hitless innings to seal the Blue Wave’s second win over the Rams this season.

“The guys excelled in all the phases of the game today to take a big step toward advancing to Thursday’s title game,” P.K. Yonge coach Rob Brunson said. “But first we have to get by a very talented team (Keystone) in the semifinal round.”

FHSAA Baseball district tournament results – Tuesday, May 2

Class 1A-District 6 at Branford

Tuesday, May 2 – Semifinals

2 Union County (Lake Butler) 12, 6 Fort White 2 (6)

1 Lafayette (Mayo) 10, 4 Hilliard 0 (5)

Thursday, May 4 – Championship

1 Lafayette (Mayo) vs. 2 Union County (Lake Butler), 7 p.m.

Class 1A-District 7 at Trenton

Tuesday, May 2 – Semifinals

1 Newberry 3, 4 Dixie County (Cross City) 1

2 Trenton 9, 3 Chiefland 3

Thursday, May 4 – Championship

1 Newberry vs. 2 Trenton, 7 p.m.

Class 1A-District 8 at Higher Seed (Championship at Wildwood)

Tuesday, May 2 – Semifinals

2 Williston 15, 3 Bronson 0 (4)

1 Glades Day (Belle Glade) 16, 4 Wildwood 1 (4)

Thursday, May 4 – Championship

2 Williston vs. Glades Day (Belle Glade), 7 p.m.

Class 2A-District 4 at St. Francis Catholic Academy

Monday, May 1 – Semifinals

2 St. Francis Catholic Academy 13, 3 Countryside Christian 0

1 Oak Hall 11, 4 Peniel Baptist Academy (Palatka) 0 (5)

Wednesday, May 3 – Championship

1 Oak Hall vs. 2 St. Francis Catholic, 4 p.m.

Class 3A-District 4 at Trinity Catholic (Ocala)

Tuesday, May 2 – Quarterfinals

3 P.K. Yonge 14, 6 Interlachen 0

2 Keystone Heights 6, 7 Crescent City 4

Wednesday, May 3 – Semifinals

2 Keystone Heights vs. 3 P.K. Yonge, 4 p.m.

1 Trinity Catholic vs. 4 Father Lopez (Daytona Beach), 7 p.m.

Thursday, May 4 – Championship

PKY/Keystone Heights winner vs. Trinity Catholic/Father Lopez winner, 6:30 p.m.

Class 4A-District 2 at Higher seeds

Tuesday, May 2 – Semifinals

2 Wakulla (Crawfordville) 7 3 Suwannee (Live Oak) 3

Class 4A-District 4 at Higher Seeds

Tuesday, May 2 – Semifinals

1 Santa Fe (Alachua) 3, 5 Palatka 2

2 Tocoi Creek (St. Augustine) 7, 3 Menendez (St. Augustine) 6

Thursday, May 4 – Championship

1 Santa Fe (Alachua) vs. 2 Tocoi Creek (St. Augustine), 7 p.m.

Class 5A-District 2 at Higher Seeds

Tuesday, May 2 – Semifinals

1 Columbia (Lake City) 11, 4 Rickards (Tallahassee) 1

2 Lincoln (Tallahassee) 5, 3 Gainesville 1

Wednesday, May 3 – Championship

1 Columbia (Lake City) vs. 2 Lincoln (Tallahassee), 7 p.m.

Class 6A-District 3 at Fletcher (Neptune Beach)

Tuesday, May 2 – Semifinals

1 Buchholz 3, 4 Nease (Ponte Vedra) 1

Thursday, May 4 – Championship

1 Buchholz vs. 2 Fleming Island/3 Oakleaf winner, 7 p.m.

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