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By Bryan Hoopaugh
May 1 in swirling wind and light rain, the Williston Red Devils varsity baseball team hosted the South Sumter Raiders in the FHSAA Regional Quarter Finals.
The weather played a large part in a tough fought game but Williston’s base running gave them the edge it took to move forward to the semi-finals.
Trent Johnson took the mound for the Red Devils and South Sumter’s ace Garrett Cave took the mound for the Raiders.
Ironically these two are friends and play together in travel ball, so the match up was even more intense.
Johnson shut down the first seven batters he faced. Cave didn’t have as good a start.
He faced five in the first with two walks but escaped the inning with a strikeout.
In the second inning, Williston threatened with bases loaded and no outs.
Cave struck out Hammonds and a lightly hit ball off the bat of Langworthy led to a 1-2-3 inning ending double play.
Williston got on the board in the third on a run scored by Justin Forsythe who reached on being hit by the pitch. He then stole second.
After stealing third, catcher Isaiah Cullum made a wide throw to third allowing Forsythe to steal home.
The game remained 1-0 Williston as the rain continued through to the sixth when Williston put up the final run of the game.
Hammonds walked to start the sixth and stole second. A passed ball allowed him to advance to third.
With one out, Cano came to bat and slapped a deep ball to left for the sacrifice fly and scored Hammonds. Had it not been for the swirling winds, Cano very well may have put that ball out of here as left fielder Beua Hayes made the catch at the wall.
Langworthy received the save as Williston shut out their opponent for the eighth time this season.
Williston advanced to the semi-finals that was played Tuesday at Brennan Baseball Field located on Trinity Catholic campus in Ocala.
Results for this game can be found on the Williston Pioneer Facebook page and website after completion.