Eagles push to take Knights out of top spot

By Ray DiMonda Correspondent
Posted 4/18/19

JACKSONVILLE– Fleming Island High baseball got up 2-0 in the second inning, but would leave the bases loaded several times before eventually pulling out a 6-1 district win over First Coast …

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Eagles push to take Knights out of top spot

Posted

JACKSONVILLE– Fleming Island High baseball got up 2-0 in the second inning, but would leave the bases loaded several times before eventually pulling out a 6-1 district win over First Coast High.

“It’s always funky when we come out here. The gnats, the low lighting. The kids can make all the excuses they can, but it’s still a ballfield and we still have to play our game” said Fleming Island Head Coach Grant Bigilin. “We were able to scrap and claw for a couple early, or it would have been very interesting toward the end of the game.”

In their last at bat, the issues finally worked themselves out to put four more on the board to lock on second place district 2-8A behind the Oakleaf High Knights.

“We didn’t have school today, the routine is thrown off, they are looking ahead to Oakleaf,” said Bigilin.

Fleming Island would put 21 runners on base, but only pull six around to score, leaving 15 on base.

In the second inning, Adam Peck came up to tattoo a shot to right field that scored Scott Kondroik and Justin Hawkins for the early 2-0 score.

Pitcher Aiden Mastantuno held the shutout through four innings when he was replaced by Jason Asdot. The pair racked up eight strikeouts.

At bat, The Golden Eagles loaded the bases in the top of the third, top of the fourth, top of the fifth, and left one on top of the sixth, all to come away empty handed. Top of the seventh, it was a new game for the offense as Fleming Island off a passed ball, a walk and a Cole Pittman single to put the Golden Eagles up 6-0 with one at-bat left for the Bucks.

“We don’t want to harp on the negative, we kind of hold our own destiny here for the district, but somebody has to step up in a big moment. We used just about everybody off the bench because nobody who started was getting the job done. I gave a couple guys a few chances to hit with runners on base, so the third time they came up, I pinch hit for them. One kid had a good knock, a couple guys came through in the clutch and luckily, we won the game. It would have been unfortunate if we didn’t maximize that potential we had with all the runners on base the whole game.”

With 2 outs, First Coast caught a break with a batter hit by a pitch, then a single to have two runners on. A misplayed fielder’s choice loaded the bases. With an attempted pick off, First Coast got on the board, 6-1, but it was all for nothing as the batter was struck out by reliever Jason Asdot to end the game on a high note and allow Fleming Island to finally lock in and concentrate of the upcoming matchup with Oakleaf for first place bragging rights in District 2. “We just flush this and move on.” Tuesday evening, 6 pm at Oakleaf, we’ll know who has the secret sauce.

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