Near-catch at fence lets ‘Canes slip past Broncos

‘Canes bounce game two: 16-3

By Randy Lefko
Posted 4/3/19

MIDDLEBURG – Middleburg High rode a strong 8-1 won/lost record into March, but found the ‘Ides of March’ unsatisfying as the Broncos lost three in a row to end March.

“The boys have just …

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Near-catch at fence lets ‘Canes slip past Broncos

‘Canes bounce game two: 16-3

Posted

MIDDLEBURG – Middleburg High rode a strong 8-1 won/lost record into March, but found the ‘Ides of March’ unsatisfying as the Broncos lost three in a row to end March.

“The boys have just been playing hard,” said Middleburg coach Daniel Pearce. “We’ve been finding ways to win. The team stays positive and we keep taking good approaches at the plate.”

First on tap after Middleburg won their eighth game with a 10-7 win over 5A-Keystone Heights on a cold, blustery night in Keystone Heights, was a 6-2 loss to 6A Pedro Menendez (2-11) before the Broncos lost two to district 3-7A rival Gainesville High; 5-4 and 18-3 in Gainesville. While Gainesville improves to 5-8 overall, Middleburg slips to 8-4.

“The guys played hard and I’m proud of how they competed,” said Pearce.

The test gets even harsher as Middleburg heads to 6A-Clay High on Mon., April 1 with 3A-Cook High of Georgia visiting Tues., April 2.

“We’ll continue to play tough baseball with high energy,” said Pearce.

In the first game with Gainesville, which Pierce dubbed the first test of the season, Middleburg got a three-run homer from Cameron Faucett to take a 3-1 lead. Singles from Hunter Conaway and an error to a Joe Justino grounder set up Faucett’s blast.

Gainesville chased the Bronco lead with a run scoring double in the third to close the score to 3-2.

In the sixth, the Broncos pushed to a 4-2 lead off a passed ball and walks to Collin Henderson, who stole second base, and Justino.

With Clayton Simmons on the mound for Middleburg in the seventh, Gainesville scored off a single and a triple before adding to the total with another single and a double off a glove stab attempt by Faucett at the right center field fence.

“That was a great play, but it just didn’t go our way,”said Pearce. “We’ll just get back at it tomorrow and come to play again.”

Down 5-4, the Broncos got a double from Simmons to juice the dugout with Anderson answering with a double to push Simmons to third, but a nifty double play on a left field fly stab and throw back to first base cleared the bases before Luke Padgett grounded out to end the game.

In the second game, Gainesville, chased four Bronco pitchers as they piled up 17 hits; four homers, with a six run first inning and a 10-run fourth inning to put the Broncos in third place in district play. Middleburg had two district wins over Ocala Vanguard prior to the Hurricanes from Gainesville coming to town.

Columbia, 6-7, 3-1, shares the district lead with Gainesville, 5-8, 3-1, with Middleburg now 2-2 in district play and Columbia coming to town April 11 with game two in Lake City April 12.

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