Sebring Tractor Service forged an eight-run lead in the first three innings in an 11-6 win over Lake Placid-based Howard Fertilizer last Thursday night in Dixie Youth Baseball’s 13-, 14-year-old action. It was the first game of the year for both teams.
Sebring Tractor Service scored twice in the first inning as Logan Gregis was given a free pass with a one out walk and stole second base. He subsequently scored on a single by Justin Bickman. Bickman also stole second base and scored on an error to account for both runs as Sebring Tractor Service led 2-0.
After notching another run in the third inning for a 3-0 lead, Sebring Tractor Service broke loose in the third with a five-run outburst.
The first seven batters for Sebring Tractor Service reached base and five eventually crossed home plate. Bickman singled, Dayvon Terry was hit by a pitch, Damion Lusby walked to load the bases. Carson Angel and Eli Fouthree singled to drive in three runs. Dalton Sebring followed with a walk and Clayton Osha singled into right field to bring in two more runs as Sebring Tractor Service held an 8-0 lead with runners on first and second and no outs.
Then with one swing of the bat by Hunter Martinez, Howard Fertilizer nearly executed a triple play. Martinez hit a hard line drive to the shortstop. Both Sebring on second and Osha on first were running at the crack of the bat. The shortstop made the catch, threw the ball to second to easily pick off Sebring. The second baseman then pivoted to first base as Osha raced back to first base. A good throw would have completed the triple play, but the throw went wide right allowing Osha to get back to first safely. Howard Fertilizer got the next batter to pop out to get out of the inning trailing Sebring Tractor Service 8-0.
Howard Fertilizer cut that lead in half in the fifth inning as they plated four runs on four base hits. Buddy Jolley led off the inning with a double and Jamarques Coleman walked to put runners on first and second. Cade Simmons singled to drive in Jolley and Hunter Hale doubled in both Coleman and Simmons to make the score 8-3. Cody Jolley capped off the scoring with a single as Howard Fertilizer closed the gap to 8-4.
Sebring Tractor Service responded in the bottom of the fourth as a leadoff triple by Bickman and singles by Lusby and Angel brought home two more runs as Sebring Tractor Service extended their lead to 6, 10-4, heading into the fifth inning.
Howard Fertilizer added two runs in the top of the fifth, but fell short in the end as Sebring Tractor Service held on to win 11-6.