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The Red Devils played host to the Chiefland Indians on one of the four Saturday games at the Devils Den this season. The Red Devils played as if they wanted to hand the Indians a win, committing eight errors on their way to an 8-6 district win.
After a scoreless first inning that saw the Indians threaten early with one-out, back-to-back base hits by Adam Burton and Clenton Wasson, starting Red Devil Pitcher Derik Milam struck out the next two hitters to retire the Indians in the top of the first.
Chiefland sent Jeremey Hayes to the mound and Hayes walked the first two Red Devil hitters on eight pitches. The next two hitters flew out and Milan was tagged out at third on a double play fly ball in the infield.
Again in the second inning the Indians had runners on second and third base with one out. The Red Devils turned a double play to shut the Indians out in the top of the second inning.
Hayes started the bottom of the second inning walking Brandon Scott. Scott was thrown out at second trying to steal. Again Hayes walked the second hitter in the second inning Damon Ming, before Andrew Poupard slammed a single for the Red Devils putting runners on first and second. Charlie Hilton walked loading the bases for the Red Devils.
Caleb Mederas was called out on a called third strike for the second out of the inning.
With the bases loaded Milam hit a single scoring Ming from third base, leaving the bases loaded. Hayes ran into control problems as he walked two straight batters then hit the next batter with the next pitch. Leading 4-0, Scott who led off the inning slapped a single scoring another run putting the Red Devils up 5-0.
The Indians made a pitching change and sent Jacob Reidy to the mound. Reidy was greeted by a Ming single that got past the out fielders and scored two more runs for the Red Devils putting them up 7-0 after two full innings of play.
The Indians came back in the top of the third as Burton, Wasson, and Reidy scored after reaching base off catching and throwing errors by the Red Devil infield. The score after three innings was 7-3 with the Red Devils leading.
Neither team scored in the fourth inning, and the Red Devils added a single run in the fifth after Hilton led the inning off with a double and scored on Milam’ s double to give the Red Devils a 8-3 lead after five complete innings.
As the Indians began to hit the ball on the ground, and the Red Devils continued to commit catching and throwing errors, the Indians scored 1 run in the sixth and 2 more runs in the top of the seventh to make it an 8-6 game.
Williston coach Jim Smith said after the game, “This is definitely, without a doubt, the worst game we have played all year. Our pitcher had to throw at least forty or fifty extra pitches, due to the errors committed by the infield. This will get us in a lot of trouble later in the season if we can’t fix this problem.”
“We had some control problems on the mound, and Williston did very well around the plate,” said Chiefland Head Coach Kyle Parnell.
“The bottom line is, you can't give up free passes and put people on base.”
Parnell sees plenty to hope for in his team's rally. Clenton Wasson hit the ball well and drove in some runs, he noted, and the team as a whole put on a strong comeback.
“We did make a game of it at the end, though we got off to a shaky start. We're playing a lot of young people and they came back pretty well.”
Chiefland faced Bronson at home Monday and traveled to Dixie County Tuesday. The Indians host district nemesis P.K. Yonge on Saturday at 4 p.m. (JV at 1 p.m.) and Parnell says that game should be interesting.
“P.K. is always tough,” he said.
“They knocked us out of the district tournament last year, and they were a young team then, so they'll return a pretty strong team this year.”
Parnell couldn't speculate on his pitching plans, with the weather and early season.
“We used Jacob Reidy more than we wanted to on Saturday (against Williston), so we'll have to see how we get through those two cold nights this week, see how our pitch counts are.”
Sports Editor Jenna McKenna contributed to this article.