Aucilla Christian takes down North Florida Christian

By Justin Burgess
Florida Area Scout

Aucilla Christian and NFC went head-to-head in Leon High School's preseason tournament. Many scouts were in attendance to watch NFC RHP Cole Sands, a 2015 graduate who is signed with FSU. The Eagles seemed to be in control early as Sands was dominating Aucilla with his fastball, striking out three in the first two innings and not allowing much solid contact. On the offensive side, NFC wasted no time as they loaded the bases in the first inning and scored off an Ethan Michaelis sac fly, however, this was the only run the Warriors surrendered in the first. In the bottom of the second, the Eagles loaded the bases again, and this time, took full advantage of the opportunity. The first run was scored by Chris Corniel on a passed ball, the second run on a single by Chris Jerry, and the third was driven in by a Landon Seymour sac fly.    

After two innings, NFC was up 4-0. In the top of the third, momentum seemed to shift as Aucilla's first batter of the inning, Austin Harrell, reached base on a catcher's interference call, and the next hitter reached on a hit-by-pitch. The Warriors shortstop and lead off hitter Shawn Blue then stepped to the plate and delivered an RBI single to put the first run on the board for Aucilla. Austin Bishop then drove a two-RBI double into the right-center field gap to bring the Warriors within one. The Warriors tacked on one more run when cleanup hitter DJ Wilkinson drove in Bishop on a sac fly. After a scoreless bottom half of the third, the game was tied 4-4. In the top of the fourth, Aucilla picked up where they left off when Nick Roberts led off the inning with a single. After a strikeout, catcher Austin Harrell hit a double that advanced Roberts to third. Roberts was then thrown out on a fielder's choice trying to score, however, Shawn Blue came up with another RBI single to give the Warriors their first lead. To follow in Blue's footsteps, Joe Hannah came to the plate and drove in two more runners to extend the Warriors lead. In the bottom half of the fourth, the Eagles threatened but could not score and remained trailing Aucilla 7-4.

In the top half of the fifth, the Warriors tacked on an insurance run after a leadoff single by Ty Chancey, and with two outs, three consecutive walks brought in Chancey. The Eagles were able to respond in the bottom half after a throwing error by the pitcher trying to pick off a runner at third. The warriors led 8-5 heading into the sixth. NFC freshman Matthew Dickey was able to come in the sixth to get a quick 1-2-3 inning for the Eagles that seemed to bring back some life into the team. This energy was, however, short-lived as NFC themselves went 1-2-3 to head into the final inning down three. Dickey again mowed through three Aucilla hitters by striking out the side in the top half of the seventh. In the bottom half, pinch hitter Jonathan Drose led off the inning for the Eagles with a walk. The Warriors then committed an error that advanced Drose to third, giving NFC two men on and nobody out. This didn't phase pitcher Shawn Blue as he forced the next batter to fly out, and picked off the runner at first to get two quick outs. After a wild pitch that scored Drose, Blue was able to get the last hitter to ground out to end the game and give Aucilla Christian the victory over North Florida Christian 8-6.

Statistical Highlights

North Florida Christian                                 Auscilla Christian

Cole Sands: 3 IP, 3 hits, 4 ER, 4 K's                Shawn Blue: 2-3 BB, 2 RBI; 4 IP, 2 ER

Chris Corniel: 2-3 (2B)                                     Austin Bishop: 3-4 (2B), 2 RBI

Matthew Dickey: 2 IP, 0 hits, 0 runs, 4 K's


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