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Chiefland boys rolled over Newberry again for the second half of that district series. Unlike February's five-inning, 10-run game in 30-degree temperature, this time they took all seven innings to win 7-0; the weather was fine.
“It always feels good to get a district win,” said Indians' Head Coach Kyle Parnell.
Adam Burton pitched a complete game and simply dominated the Panthers. He had six strikeouts and allowed only two hits and one walk. He faced only four batters over the minimum 21, mainly due to hitting two batters in the third inning. Alert defense quickly cleaned up those extra baserunners; Burton had four assists in the field.
“After he walked that leadoff batter, he settled down and hit his spots,” Parnell said.
“We managed to erase that walk, too – threw the guy out.”
Chiefland jumped on the board fast. Dane Cothron's leadoff single became the opening run on a throwing error in the outfield. Everyone hit well, with nearly every batter getting a hit, waiting out a walk or at least making solid contact. Mike Perkins had another great night, going 3-3 and scoring twice with an RBI home run in the third. Cothron also excelled at the plate, going 3-4 with two runs and an RBI.
Newberry's young team has improved quite a bit on the season. Pitcher Blaine Rhea looked sharp, throwing a complete game with six strikeouts. Chiefland's baserunning simply took advantage of every opening, scoring all but Cothron's opening run in two big innings, the third and sixth. Panther shortstop Andrew Vargas made it hot for the Indians who hit up the middle.
“He's a quality ballplayer,” Parnell said.
“He had one play where the ball hopped and bounced off his chest and he still almost threw out one of our fastest guys.”
Following a week off for the Suwannee River Fair – most Chiefland baseball players are stock exhibitors – the Indians return to the diamond tomorrow for a 4 p.m. matchup in Bronson. Parnell says Chiefland will have to look awfully sharp to get over the Eagles, another rebuilding team that is rapidly improving.
“Last time they played us here, they just plain outplayed us,” Parnell said.
“They should have beaten us that night, and we were lucky to get away with a win.”
Chiefland hung on that night to come back for a 9-7 win. Since that night, Bronson is 3-4, with two of the losses being one-run games.