Oak Hall, Columbia win district titles

Oak Hall's Jack Steen slides safely under the tag of St. Francis pitcher Mason Bell to score in the third inning on Wednesday.
Photo by C.J. Gish

On Wednesday at St. Francis Catholic, visiting Oak Hall jumped out to a 4-1 lead in the bottom of the first inning en route to an 11-1 win against the host Wolves to win the Class 2A-District 4 title.

“Today we got an outstanding pitching performance from junior Troy Freeman, improving his record to 7 -1 on the season,” said Oak Hall coach Kevin Maris. “Defensively we played errorless ball and when you mix quality pitching and solid defense it makes for a successful outcome.”

Photo by C.J. Gish Oak Hall's Darion Medley (11) celebrates with Eagles teammates after hitting a two-run first inning home run against St. Francis on Wednesday.

Freeman tossed six innings and gave up just three hits and one earned run. He finished the game with six strikeouts.

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At the plate, Jack Steen led the way going 3-for-3 with two doubles and two runs driven in.

Darion Medley hit his first high school home run of his career, finishing 2-for-3 and 2 RBI.

As a team, the Eagles (17-5) finished with nine hits spread through the lineup.

“It was really nice to bring back a district championship to the Oak Hall baseball program,” Maris said. “It’s been a few years since they’ve had one. The players have really gotten better each week throughout the season and now we look to make a good deep run into the playoffs.”

Columbia 9, Lincoln (Tallahassee) 0

Senior Hayden Gustavson tripled in Matt Dumas, who had walked, in the bottom of the first inning to give the Tigers the only run they would need as Columbia (Lake City) won the 5A-District 2 title with a 9-0 win against Lincoln (Tallahassee).

Gustavson finished the day 3-for-4 with four runs driven in, and junior Camdon Frier (2-for-3, 3 RBI, double, HR) hit a two-run home run for a 6-0 lead in the bottom of the third inning.

Tigers senior pitcher Joshua Fernald tossed four scoreless innings, allowing just one hit with only two walks and eight strikeouts.

Columbia, which improved to 21-5, will host a regional quarterfinals game on Tuesday, May 9.

P.K. Yonge 8, Keystone Heights 6

Down 5-0 after four innings in the 3A-District 4 semifinal Wednesday at Trinity Catholic (Ocala) to No. 2 seed Keystone Heights, third seed P.K. Yonge rallied over the final three innings to advance to the championship game with an 8-6 win.

The Blue Wave (19-7), winners of six consecutive games, will play top seed Trinity Catholic for the district tournament title at 6:30 p.m. Thursday.

In the second semifinal, the Celtics defeated No. 4 seed Father Lopez (Daytona Beach) (13-14), 8-0, to improve to 18-8.

“Our team again showed today the grit and heart it has shown all season in winning all our games,” P.K. Yonge coach Rob Brunson said. “I couldn’t be more proud of them with how they refused to lose.”

The Indians (16-9) built their 5-0 lead thanks to a three-run home run by junior Kenneth Guy, who finished with three hits and four runs batted in.

P.K. Yonge began its comeback with four runs in the fifth to cut the deficit to 5-4.

Micah Gratto (three hits, two runs) and Jacob Pridgen (two singles, two runs) singled ahead of Xander Sanetz’s RBI double. Lane Sparkman then hit a two-run single before Mack Todd’s RBI single.

Keystone went up 6-4 in the bottom of the fifth on an RBI single by Andru Siemer.

The Blue Wave took the lead at 7-6 with a three spot in the sixth on singles by Gratto, Sanetz, Lane Sparkman and Luke Sparkman’s two-run single.

They made it 8-6 in the seventh following singles from Gratto, Pridgen and Lane Sparkman.

Lane Sparkman improved to 6-1 after allowing four earned runs on seven hits and striking out five over 5.1 innings. Aidan Mansfield earned the save.

Oak Hall's Harrison Beach make it safely to second against St. Francis' Nicolas Gomez-Vera in the first inning of the District 4-2A championship game on Wednesday.
Photo by C.J. Gish Oak Hall's Harrison Beach make it safely to second against St. Francis' Nicolas Gomez-Vera in the first inning of the District 4-2A championship game on Wednesday.


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

1 Oak Hall 11, 2 St. Francis Catholic 1 (6) 

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

3 P.K. Yonge 8, 2 Keystone Heights 6

1 Trinity Catholic 8, 4 Father Lopez (Daytona Beach) 0

Class 5A-District 2 Final at Columbia (Lake City) 

1 Columbia (Lake City) 9, 2 Lincoln (Tallahassee) 0


Class 1A-District 6 at Branford

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

Class 1A-District 7 at Trenton

1 Newberry vs. 2 Trenton, 7 p.m.

Class 1A-District 8 at Wildwood

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

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

1 Trinity Catholic vs. 3 P.K. Yonge, 6:30 p.m.

Class 4A-District 4 at Santa Fe (Alachua) 

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

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

1 Buchholz vs. 2 Fleming Island (Orange Park), 7 p.m.

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