Bloomingdale Overcomes Early Deficit to Defeat Defending State Champs, Plant City

Matt Schaeffer
PBR Florida

Valrico, FL - This game got started quickly, as the top of the first saw Plant City plate the game's first run, thanks to 2 early errors by the Bulls. The Raiders would go on to add to that lead in the top of the 3rd, after a Cole Cothren (2020 grad) sac-fly allowed for Tre Ragan (2020 grad) to tag and score after reaching on Bloomingdale’s third error of the game. Plant City seemed to be in control with a 3-0 lead, thanks in part to starting pitcher Tyler Dowdy (2020, West Florida commit) who fanned 5 of the first 9 he saw.

However, after strikeouts number 4 and 5 to begin the bottom of the 3rd, Dowdy ran into trouble. A single by
Drake Harman (2022), followed by two consecutive walks allowed for Clemson commit Colby Shelton (2022) to deliver for his team in a big way. Shelton roped a low line drive into left field that fell just short of a diving Brayden Crews, allowing the baseball to roll to the fence and Shelton to pull into third base with a 3 RBI triple. Shelton would then score on a Plant City error to push the Bulls newly found lead to 4-2.

From there, the Bulls never looked back. They added two more runs in the following inning after Wake Forest commit
Brock Wilken was intentionally walked to load the bases. This brought Dominic Gonnella (2020) to this plate, who tried to push a ball into right field past a diving Colin Shultz (2022), but Shultz was able to get a glove on it; however, Gonnella showcased exceptional speed as he beat out the play at first. The bang-bang play gave Coach Kris Wilken the opportunity to wave his runner from second home and increase their lead.

Plant City would attempt a response, after Chris Rodriguez’s (2020) lead-off double was followed by another defensive miscue for the Bulls, allowing Rodriguez to score.

The game would maintain the 6-3 score in favor of Bloomingdale, as they sealed their victory with two strikeouts and a fly out from their closer, Brock Wilken.

Keynote performances:

Demario Williams, Plant City, 2021: Williams led off for Plant City and was on base 3 of his 4 at bats. Williams speed is a huge part of his game - which he showcased both on the base paths, taking extra bases, and in the outfield, running down baseballs.

Chase Chappell, Bloomingdale, 2022: The sophomore RHP came into the middle frames and provided exactly what the Bulls needed. His long arms and heavy ball will be one to watch as he continues to develop.


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