Braves win SMAC baseball crown

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By Steve Waters, Sports Editor

 Chiefland Middle School's baseball team won the Souther Middle School Athletic Conference championship in dramatic fashion last Friday, topping Bradford Middle, 2-1, in eight innings.

James Miller brought home the winning run for the Braves in extra innings, hitting a bases-loaded sacrfice fly to score Payton Parnell from third and break the tie.

"It was hysteria," Chiefland Middle coach Pat Burton said. "They were really proud of themselves, and rightfully so. They did a good job."

Chiefland took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second, when Trevor Castell's big hit brought home Grayson Gerhard.

Bradford tied the game in the top of the seventh inning, forcing extra innings.

The victory capped an undefeated season for the Braves, who finished 16-0. It was the first SMAC title for Chiefland in two seasons.

Burton said the outlook for baseball in Chiefland is looking good.

Nine eighth graders contributed to this season's championship for the Braves, and they will start contributing at the high school level next season.

"I think the future bodes pretty well, with the large class moving up," Burton said.