Trenton faces No. 1 Bozeman in 1A Semifinals on Wednesday

Trenton sponsors and donors helped the Tigers travel to the state playoffs, including the Langford family providing the bus.
Trenton sponsors and donors helped the Tigers travel to the state playoffs, including the Langford family providing the bus.
Trenton Tigers baseball

There will be a new high school baseball state champion in Class 1A this year.

Last year, Chipley (22-7) won its first state title in program history with a 10-1 win against Lafayette (Mayo) in the state title game.

However, on May 7, the Tigers lost to Bozeman (Panama City), 3-0, in a 1A-Region 2 Semifinal, ensuring a new 1A champ for the seventh straight year since Trenton won the 2017 title (there was no tournament during COVID-19 in 2020).

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Following an upset of top seed Newberry, 4-3, in Saturday’s 1A-Region 4 Final, the Trenton baseball team is looking to keep the momentum going on Wednesday in Southwest Florida.

The Tigers, who advanced to their first final four since 2018, will play top-ranked Bozeman at 10 a.m. at Hammond Stadium in Fort Myers in the FHSAA Class 1A state semifinals.

The winner will play either No. 2 seed Lafayette or No. 3 seed Jay in the championship game at 4 p.m. on Tuesday.

“I just want to thank the Trenton community, I want to thank the principal Cheri Langford, the wonderful Athletic Director Pat Burton, and all the parents and players that have supported me,” said first-year head coach Chris Marlo. “Any time you get a new coach and there’s change, it’s hard to make adjustments. Luckly I’ve been around some great coaches in the past and I’m trying to bring that here to Trenton. Hopefully we can carry this on year after year after year.”

Trenton freshman pitcher Mason VunCannon (5 IP, 5H, 2 ER, 4 BB, 2K) started the game on the mound against the Panthers and freshman Brant Bivens came in relief in the sixth inning and didn’t allow a run.

Bivens retired the side in order in the seventh including two strikeouts.

VunCannon and Bivens are two of five freshmen who start.

Marlo has confidence in his team, but he’s also thankful he got two key players back from injury.

“We had two guys go down, they were out six weeks, my son, Jordan, who hits in the two-three hole and Mason,” Marlo said. “Jordan had a knee injury and Mason had a hand injury, so we were missing those guys for six weeks. They’re the heart of our team. In 1A if you pull two of your main guys out, you’re going to struggle but those guys that played they got opportunities and they maximized it and they practiced and got better every day and even in the games to prepare for this.”

Trenton (13-11) is batting .270 as a team and carries a 4.19 earned run average.

Bivens leads the team with a .410 batting average, a .489 on base percentage, and 17 stolen bases. He also leads the pitching staff with a 2.33 ERA.

Senior third baseman Dax Becker is second on the team with a .309 average, followed by sophomore catcher Ty Moses (.303).

Bozeman advanced with a 2-1 against Port St. Joe in eight innings in the 1A-Region 2 Final.

The Bucks only have one loss to a 1A school this season.

Bozeman (26-3) lost at home to Newberry, 5-2, in nine innings on March 15. Their other two losses were to Jenks (OK), 7-5, and against 4A regional finalist Arnold (Panama City Beach), 5-4, on April 25.

Junior Brooks Skipper leads the team with a .477 batting average, a .612 OBP and a .779 slugging percentage. Freshman Alex Godwin (.398) and sophomore Zac Flitcraft (.396) are batting just below .400.

Bozeman is batting .340 as a team with 199 RBI and a .472 slugging percentage.

They are a perfect 60-for-60 in stolen bases and the Bucks also have a sparkling team ERA of 1.08.

But as we saw on Saturday night, the game of baseball can be a bit quirky and bizarre. The better team doesn’t always win.

You only have to be the best team that day, which is promising for a Trenton baseball team which started the year 4-8.

“No one ever thought that we would be at this point, especially with the slow start of our season,” VunCannon said. “Going into that we have nothing to lose. If we go there and we continue to play like we’ve been playing, we’ve got a great chance to win it.”

Despite being a young team, Marlo feels like his team won’t be intimidated playing in the spring training home of the Minnesota Twins.

“The good thing about this group is, with these ninth graders being so special, they all play on pretty competitive travel ball teams, so they’re used to being in those big tournaments,” Marlo said. “Most of these kids play travel ball so I think they’ll be ready. We’ve got some momentum. We picked up momentum toward the end of the year and hopefully we can carry that on to Fort Myers.”

What’s up guys, Wyatt Langford here. I just wanted to say good luck to you guys going to state and congratulations.
Tim Montgomery from NUMA Speed Trenton baseball team coach Chris Marlowe. You done it. Hard work pays off.
Young men, young warriors is William Bar. Nun Floyd, the last full back to be drafted in the first round sending you much love and respect.
Trenton Tigers, AJ Pierzynski here, 2005 World Series champion with the Chicago White Sox.
Johnny Damon here. Two time world series champion. I know you’re headed to the state championship.

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