Red Devils hold off Bulldogs
Mark Pinson | Highlands TodayAVON PARK - Avon Park senior Torri Pringle had a pair of extra base hits to drive in three runs and made a spectacular catch in left field to lead the Red Devils to a 9-8 district win over Frostrpoof on Tuesday night at Charles R. Head Field.
Published: February 28, 2013
Published: February 28, 2013
The Class 4A-District 10 victory improved Avon Park to 7-0 overall and 1-0 in district play.
"We didn't play well at the end of the game," said Red Devil baseball coach Whit Cornell. "We've been playing great defense, but made some errors tonight we haven't been making.
"We were able to get the win and that's a good way to start the district schedule."
Avon Park jumped on top in the bottom of the first inning against Bulldog right-hander Trevor Ard as Alfred Brown worked a leadoff walk, stole second base and scored on a triple to right-center field by Josh Gomez.
Tyrone Perry followed with a triple to right field to score Gomez and Pringle plated Perry with a sacrifice fly to center field for a 3-0 lead.
Frostproof got on the board in the top of the second inning as Marcus Ramos singled off of Red Devil left-hander Kenny McGrath, advanced to second base on an error and moved to third on an infield single.
Dustin Baber scored Ramos with a sacrifice fly to pull the Bulldogs within 3-1.
The Red Devils knocked Ard out of the game in the bottom of the third inning. Perry drew a leadoff walk, Stevie Flowers was hit by a pitch and Pringle lined a two-run triple to right-center field.
Luis Martinez smacked an RBI single, Mason Jahna was hit by a pitch and both runners moved up on a wild pitch. Colton Brock stroked a two-run single to right field to knock Ard out of the game.
"Torri is a good player and came into our program as a freshman," Cornell said. "He's worked really hard and made drastic improvements.
"He was aggressive at the plate and played excellent defense."
Bulldog right-hander Frankie Bartley came on in relief and retired the next hitter, but Avon Park held a commanding 8-1 lead.
Frostproof answered in the top of the fourth inning by taking advantage of a pair of uncharacteristic Red Devil errors to score four runs with two outs to trim its deficit to 8-5,
"We had two big innings and sometimes that relaxes you too much on defense," Cornell said. "We have a lot of competitors on this team and I know we'll get back to playing solid defense."
Avon Park tallied an important run in the bottom of the fifth inning as Pringle lined a leadoff double, moved to third base on a fielder's choice and scored on a single to left field by Jahna for a 9-5 lead.
McGrath, who allowed five runs in his five innings to earn the win, was relieved by Flowers in the sixth inning.
The Bulldogs took advantage of control problems by Flowers to plate three runs to make it 9-8. Gio Gomez came on in relief and escaped further trouble.
Frostproof made things interesting in its last at-bat as Marcus Bobb reached on a fielder's choice, Juan Flores was hit by a pitch and Casey Thomas walked to load the bases with two outs.
Perry was brought in and the hard-throwing right-hander induced a ground ball to second base to retire Marcus Ramos to preserve the 9-8 victory.
"Tyrone throws hard and throws strikes," Cornell said. "He got the last out which is always the hardest one to get."
Avon Park is back on the diamond with a home game tonight against McKeel Academy and the Red Devils host Ridge Community on Friday night.
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