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Updated: 04/09/2014 08:00:02AM

Late inning heroics continue to lift Miners

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Fort Meade's D.J. King is all smiles as he rounds the bases after hitting a home run in a 3-2 win over All Saints last Friday.

Cody Daniels didn't get the win against All Saints, but pitched a very good six innings.

Miners second baseman Jacob Page gets All Saints runner Morgan Harrison on a force out.

Fort Meade's Jarem Barfield steals third during a 3-2 Miners win against All Saints last Friday.


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Going into the season the Fort Meade Miners baseball team comprised of veteran and young talent came into the spring with high hopes for 2014.

As the early part of the season progressed the Miners reversed from their preseason success in which they found themselves struggling to find team chemistry as they started 0-6.

But since the 0-6 mark the Miners have exceedingly bounced back winning 10 out of the last 13 ballgames. On a more vital note the Miners are now 4-0 in the 3A District 8 standings.

The theme of the season has been the dramatics as the wins have come down the wire keeping the fans on the edge of their seats, and that continued last week.

On Tuesday the Miners welcomed legendary Polk County baseball coach David Saliba and the Santa Fe Crimson Hawks.

All season long it seems Glavine Harpe has been in a zone as he once again pitched the Miners to a dramatic 2-1 victory as he went the distance, allowing his lone run on one hit while striking out six and walking none.

The Miner offense managed just four hits, but it was enough to plate two runs. Fort Meade struck first as Tobias Culpepper led off the second with an infield single. After two consecutive stolen bases, Culpepper was cashed in with a beautiful sacrifice bunt from Trey Porter for a 1-0 lead.

The Hawks deadlocked the score in the top of the fourth at one, and throughout much of the rest of the game neither team would score.

However, in the bottom of the seventh the Miners would once again prevail in walk-off fashion. Pinch hitter Devin Danforth reached on a error to lead things off and reached second on a passed ball.

With one on and one down, the hero of the Lakeland Christian game, Jacob Page came up trying to move Danforth over. He reached on a fielder’s choice when the third baseman mishandled a throw that would have had Danforth out at third.

It all came down to the catcher Brian Spradlin, with two men on and one out. Spradlin laid down a perfectly executed sacrifice squeeze bunt that sealed the deal as Danforth’s slide into home collided with the applied tag from the catcher as the ball sailed away giving the Miners a 2-1 win.

Friday night the Miners turned right around and hosted All Saints, once again taking a game in their final at bat.

In his second start coming off an excellent recent outing against the 7A state runner-up Haines City Hornets, Cody Daniels shutdown the Saints as he went six innings giving up two runs on four hits, walking three and fanning three.

Apart from Daniel’s pitching performance the Miners played tough defense locking up the Saints bats until the sixth inning where the visitors would tie the game at two.

The Miners went down in order in the bottom half of the sixth as Daniel’s gave way to senior Dan “The Dirty Man” Watson, who lived up to his nickname, as he was dirty, recording three outs to get the win in relief.

In the bottom of the seventh, Culpepper laced a double down the left field line before Harpe came up and delivered a clutch sacrifice bunt for a 3-2 win and perfect 4-0 mark in district play.

After the game despite the lack of run support Coach Spradlin was positive about getting the fourth district win of the season. He was pleased to see his defense and pitching shutting down opponents as well winning 10 of their last 13.

This week the Miners traveled to Lakeland Christian Tuesday night, Thursday they will travel to Bartow and take on the Jackets and Friday night they will wrap up district play traveling to Santa Fe.

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