A quick start by host North Florida Christian (Tallahassee), and a slow start offensively by Oak Hall, proved to be the difference on Friday afternoon as the visiting Eagles’ season came to an end.
Last year’s Class 2A state runner-up built a 6-0 lead after three innings before the game was halted due to weather.
When the game resumed, NFC (16-12) added two more runs for an 8-0 lead in the fourth inning and they held on for a 12-7 win in a Class 2A-Region 1 Semifinal.
“We got off to a slow start with the bats and had an hour lightning delay and it pretty much rained off and on throughout the whole game,” said Oak Hall coach Kevin Maris. “We started to get the bats to come alive in the fifth inning and we had nine hits and scored seven runs in the last three innings but it was just a little too late.”
Senior Jack Kuzmicki and sophomore Gavin Jones led the visiting Eagles with a couple of hits apiece. They each drove in a run for Oak Hall, which finished the season with a record of 18-6.
“We had an outstanding year finishing the season winning a district championship that they hadn’t won since 2011 and winning a Regional Quarterfinal game, although we fell short of the ultimate goal,” Maris said. “We’ll lose three seniors (Jack Kuzmicki , Neil Ruth and Andrew McManis) that did a fantastic job for us this year and we will miss their contributions to this year’s team but we will look to the future to build on to what these seniors have created here and build our program back to the way I had the program back in the day. We look forward to 2024.”
3 Lincoln (Tallahassee) at 2 Columbia (Lake City) – In a Class 5A-Region 1 Semifinal between the host Tigers (22-5) and the visiting Trojans (17-9), weather affected the start time and eventually pushed the game back to Saturday morning. The two teams will try again at noon.
The winner will play at top seed Clay (Green Cove Springs), which eliminated Ridgeview (Orange Park), 5-3, in Friday’s other regional semifinal final contest.
Baseball results – Friday, May 12
Class 2A-Region 1 Semifinals
2 North Florida Christian (Tallahassee) 12, 3 Oak Hall 7
Class 5A-Region 1 Semifinals
3 Lincoln (Tallahassee) at 2 Columbia (Lake City) – postponed to Saturday at 12 p.m. due to weather
Saturday, May 13 – All games at 7 p.m. unless noted
Class 1A-Region 3 Final
2 Union County (Lake Butler) at 1 Lafayette (Mayo)
Class 1A-Region 4 Final
3 Chiefland at 1 Newberry
Class 6A-Region 1 Semifinal
3 Mosley (Lynn Haven) at 2 Buchholz