- Gainesville, FL. Written by: Kyrin Mayfield
With the number one seed in their district locked up since April 17, the Gainesville Hurricanes have felt the pressure taken off their shoulders. On Thursday night, Gainesville hosted the Belleview Rattlers for the third of five games in a row at home.
The Rattlers we’re growing accustomed to playing close games. Their previous three were decided by one run. Meanwhile, the Hurricanes recently found an extra gear.
After starting the season 3-8, they won seven in a row coming in. Their record certainly doesn’t represent the kind of team they currently are. These two teams have only played twice since 2005, both of which were last year. Gainesville won those contests 10-0 and 10-2.
Balls were being smacked into the outfield from the very beginning. Belleview’s Brendan Davis led off with a double to center field. Caleb Abshier soon followed with a home run that went higher than a ten-story building to right field to give the Rattlers an early 2-0 lead. However, that’s all the offense could muster the entire game.
There was little action until the fourth. In the top, Hurricane’s starting pitcher Logan Carlisle had a sweet pickoff move while Belleview’s Jared Dube was on second to tag him out before he could get back to the bag.
In the bottom half, Gainesville’s bats finally woke up. Until that point, they only had one hit. Zeb Marquis led off with a single that bounced off the pitcher and went bast the shortstop. Luke Marquis followed with a single as well to put two runners on.
David Rowe got a bunt down that was intended to be a sacrifice to move the runners over. Instead, the pitcher fielded it and threw it over the first baseman into right field. One runner came home. The right fielder threw to home trying to get the second runner out, but the ball went over the catcher’s head.
Rowe attempted to run home on the loose ball, however it rolled right into the middle of the baseline that he would be running down on his way to home. The catcher grabbed it one foot ahead of Rowe and tried to tag him, but the ball came loose. Rowe was safe and the Hurricanes had a 3-2 lead from an inside-the-park home run bunt.
Ryan Ealy then got on with a single, moved to second on a single from Nick Sopko, and later stole third. Belleview tried to pickoff Sopko on second, but the ball got passed the second baseman into center, allowing Ealy to score. Gainesville led, and eventually won 4-2, the errors did Belleview, in.
The Marquis brothers both went 2-for-3 with a run for Gainesville. Zeb Marquis came in to relieve Carlisle in the top of the fifth. He finished with a solid two and two-third innings pitched allowing no runs, hits or walks and striking out one batter.
Belleview was led by Davis who went two-for-two with a run and Abshier who had that mammoth home run that gave him a run and two RBIs. The Hurricanes (11-8) continue their home stand against Williston on Tuesday. The Rattlers (8-12) head to Vanguard on Friday.