Gainesville, FL. Written by: Kyrin Mayfield.
The Florida Gators played the rival Florida State Seminoles in baseball on this past Tuesday night. Whether a humorous coincidence or clever scheduling, on Wednesday the Gainesville-Buchholz Bobcats hosted the Chiles Timberwolves from, you guessed it, Tallahassee.
Buchholz had a hot start to the season, winning six in a row. They have since cooled off going 2-2 over their last four games. The offense had been struggling of late, scoring four runs or less in three of the last four games. They also played a home game yesterday against the East Ridge Knights so the team came into this game on short rest.
The Timberwolves have been hot and cold, all season. They won their first two, lost their next three, won the next three, and then lost the next two. They too, were on short rest after hosting North Florida Christian the previous night.
Chiles owns the series between the two schools since 2008, winning 17 of the 21 games, including the last 7. They won the last meeting 8-1 in 2017, which was the last time they were in the same district.
The Bobcats were very vocal from the beginning, cheering on their teammates louder than any other team I've witnessed so far this season. The scoring started in the bottom of the second when Cole Howard was walked with one out. He then stole second and scored on a Charlie Hoffman single right up the middle. Buchholz had an early 1-0 lead.
Buchholz doubled their lead to 2-0 in the next inning with a leadoff double by Corbin Grantham. He scored in the next at bat when Austin Akey hit the ball to the pitcher who overthrew the first baseman, allowing Grantham to come home.
Down 2-0 with six outs left, Chiles finally got on the board in the top of the sixth. Garrett Greene was hit by a pitch to lead off. He stole second and moved to third on a wild pitch. An error by Buchholz allowed him to score two batters later. The Bobcats now only led by a run.
On Tuesday, the Gators went into the top of the seventh down 2-1. Chiles was in the same situation except they didn’t have nine innings to play. This was all or nothing.
The inning began with a walk to Dillon Giesecke, who moved to third on an error by the pitcher. Zach Holcomb hit him home with a single up the middle. He went to second on a groundball to the pitcher by Zeb Maxwell. Sam Rudd was then walked. He and Holcomb moved to second and third after another wild pitch. Greene stepped up to the plate and smacked a two RBI double to give the Timberwolves a 4-2 lead.
The Bobcats were unable to score in the bottom half of the inning, giving the Timberwolves the win, 4-2. The Gators scored three runs in the top of the seventh and beat the Seminoles 4-2. Tallahassee got some revenge on Wednesday when Chiles did the same thing. Grantham led Buchholz with a run while going 1-for-3.
Chiles starting pitcher Ben Gurley pitched a complete game, throwing 99 pitches. He finished with three hits, one earned run, three walks and three strikeouts. Greene went 1-for-3 with a run and two RBIs.
Greene felt positive with the direction his team is headed in.
“Obviously, stuff hasn’t gone away,” Greene said. “Because of our record, but we’re playing good baseball. We play some games down, some games up, so we just need to become more consistent, and the results will speak for themselves.”