Since clinching a bye in the district tournament, wins have been hard to come by for the Bartow High School baseball team. Bartow entered its Senior Night losers in two of its previous three games with the only win coming in walk-off fashion the night before against Fort Meade. At home on Friday night against Tenoroc, the Yellow Jackets had no answer for Titans’ starting pitcher Levi Lindsey in a 4-1 loss.
Prior to the start of the game at Bill Phebus Field, the five Bartow seniors were honored. Those seniors included starting pitcher Daniel Till, catcher Gavin Murphy, third baseman Jorge Alvarez, first baseman Jimmie Whitfield and shortstop Timmy Delph, who had scored the game-winning run the night prior.
“It was a big night for them,” said Bartow head coach Robbie Harris.
After a quick first inning, Tenoroc got to Till with a pair of runs in the second. Dawson Clark’s RBI single opened the scoring for the Titans and Brendan Stewart would eventually come around to score on a Till pitch that got by the catcher Murphy.
Lindsey would go the distance for Tenoroc fanning five Bartow hitters and allowing just four hits on the evening. Until the bottom of the fifth inning, a bloop single from Whitfield was the only hit for the Yellow Jackets.
“He was tough all game long,” said Harris of Lindsey. “He got ahead in the count and had his curveball going.”
The Titans were able to extend the lead to 4-0 with runs in the fourth and fifth innings. In the bottom of the fifth, Bartow finally made some noise offensively.
Zach Hastings singled to open the inning and would come around to score on a RBI single by Murphy. With the score now 4-1, the Yellow Jackets threatened further damage by loading the bases with two outs. Ryan Pierce however, grounded out to third to end the Bartow threat.
On the mound, Pierce was solid, tossing 2 1⁄3 shutout innings in relief of Till, who would take the loss. Till allowed four runs — three earned — in 4 2⁄3 innings.
The loss was the third for Bartow in four games as the Yellow Jackets fell to 17-7 on the season with five of their losses coming at home.
“It’s been a grind trying to beat these last three or four teams at home,” added Harris. For Bartow to advance to the 7A state playoffs, it will need to win a district tournament game on its home field.
While Bartow’s Senior Night was not one to remember, seniors did account for three of the club’s four hits on the evening.
Bartow will conclude its regular season on Thursday in Winter Haven. The Yellow Jackets won the previous two meetings between the schools this season.