South Florida outslugs Marshall County
Oviedo, FL turned in an impressive power display on Thursday morning, as the South Florida state champs belted six homeruns en route to defeating tourney host Marshall County 16-4 in four innings at the Richard Cashion Sports Complex in the first round of the 11-year old Cal Ripken Southeast Regional tournament.
Bolstered by an eight-run first inning, Oviedo finished with 12 hits and three walks against three Marshall County pitchers to go along with three hit batsmen and three MC errors.
Zach Levenson spearheaded Oviedo's offensive onslaught by going 3-for-4 with two homeruns, 3 RBI, and three runs scored. Jason Wert also went 2-for-2 with a homerun, 2 RBI, and two runs scored, while Graham Spalding, Blake Loubier, and Luke Babineau each added a homer and 2 RBI. Austin Lampe tallied two hits, 2 stolen bases, a RBI, and a run scored for South Florida as well.
"I wasn't really that surprised at how much power they had because those Florida teams play a lot of baseball down there," said Marshall County coach Joey Crowell. "They had some pretty good swings and I saw what some of them can do in the homerun derby during the opening ceremonies last night. Plus the wind was blowing straight out, which didn't help."
Marshall County, conversely, mustered only four hits and two walks against three Oviedo hurlers. Camryn Ruiz (2 RBI), Grayson Whaley (1 RBI), Raymond Cooksey (1 RB), and Caleb Crowell notched one hit apiece for MC.
Oviedo took control of the game right from the start and crossed home plate eight times in the top of the first inning, highlighted by a two-run homer from Levenson, to take an 8-0 lead.
Marshall County tried to chip away at the deficit in the bottom half of the first and tallied two runs in the frame to narrow the gap to 8-2. After reaching base on an error, Mitchell Ford stole second and third prior to racing home on a RBI groundout by Ruiz. Following an infield single by Crowell, courtesy runner Blake Diestelow stole second before scoring on a Cooksey RBI single.
South Florida quickly regained the momentum and pushed their lead to 11-2 in the top of the second thanks to a two-run shot by Babineau and a Wert solo homer before opening up a 12-2 advantage in the third inning on a RBI groundout by Vaughn Grissom.
MC trimmed the deficit to 12-4 in the bottom of the third with the help of RBI singles by Ruiz and Whaley, but Oviedo brought the mercy rule into effect by crossing home plate four more times in the top of the fourth on the strength of two-run bomb by Spalding and a couple of solo homers from Loubier and Levenson to cap their 16-4 triumph.