Baseball: District tournament preview
By BRIAN SUMERS and DAWN REISS
Published April 23, 2006
WHERE: Ocala West Port, 3733 SW 80th Ave, Ocala.
DIRECTIONS: Take CR-491 North. Turn slight left onto No. Carl G. Rose Hwy/ FL-200. Turn left onto SW 80th Ave.
SCHEDULE: Monday - No. 4 Dunnellon (5-7) vs. No. 5 Belleview (4-8), 4 p.m.; No. 2 Crystal River (10-2) vs. No. 7 Lecanto (1-11), 7 p.m. Tuesday - Citrus (9-3) vs. No. 6 West Port (3-9), 7 p.m. Wednesday - No. 1 North Marion (10-2) vs. winner of Dunnellon-Belleview, 4 or 7 p.m.; winner of Citrus-West Port vs. winner of Crystal River-Lecanto, 4 or 7 p.m. Thursday - Championship, 7 p.m.
SCOUTING CITRUS: The 'Canes have beaten West Port twice, 13-2 in six innnings, followed by a 10-3 victory. Defense and pitching have been Citrus' strengths, led by Anthony DelGuidice at first base and Randy Hernandez at second. The 'Canes are hitting better, improving from a team .280 average up to .307 led by Nick DelGuidice, who improved his average from .321 to .452. Barring a district shake up, Citrus, which won the title last year, and Crystal River, will meet in the semifinals after splitting victories in the regular season.
SCOUTING CRYSTAL RIVER: At 10-2 in the district, the Pirates will have little trouble getting past seventh-seeded Lecanto. But the next probable matchup against Citrus worries coach Rob Cummins. The teams split games this season and if they play in the quarterfinals, only one will be guaranteed a spot in the state playoffs. Crystal River will need a big tournament from its biggest hitters - Matt Schrantz, who has a .486 batting average, and Todd Bayer, who bats .403.
SCOUTING LECANTO: To say the Panthers (4-21 overall) have struggled is an understatement. A mass exodus from Lecanto - before and during the season of 15 players, who have either transferred, quit or been suspended - has drastically narrowed the field. Frustrated at best, the Panthers are looking to play one more game before their season ends to Crystal River, which has three former Lecanto starters, pitcher senior Kevin Fry and sophomores Herbie Sickler and Kyle Metz, on its team.
WHEN: Monday, Tuesday-Thursday.
WHERE: Hernando Christian, 7200 Emerson Road, Brooksville.
DIRECTIONS: Travel south on C.R. 491 (Lecanto Highway). Turn left on U.S. 98 (Ponce De Leon Boulevard). After 8 miles, turn slight right on U.S. 41. Turn left on FL-50 E (Cortez Boulevard) and travel 1.7 miles. Turn right onto Emerson.
SCHEDULE: Monday - No. 3 First Academy vs. No. 6 Cedar Key, 1 p.m.; No. 4 Seven Rivers, vs. No. 5 Bishop McLaughlin, 4 p.m. Tuesday - No. 2 Ocala St. John vs. First Academy/Cedar Key winner, 1 p.m.; No. 1 Hernando Christian vs. Seven Rivers/Bishop McLaughlin winner, 4 p.m. Thursday - Championship game, 4 p.m.
SCOUTING THE WARRIORS: Seven Rivers does not expect to have junior shortstop and pitcher Justin Richardson (separated shoulder). Still, the Warriors beat first-round opponent Bishop McLaughlin twice this season, and the the Hurricanes are fielding a varsity squad for the first time. Seven Rivers forfeited its game Thursday against Ocala Word of Faith because of disciplinary problems, but school officials said the school will field a team for the tournament. Headmaster Joel Satterly said Friday two players likely will remain suspended.
[Last modified April 23, 2006, 00:49:08]
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