The Clay High Blue Devils baseball team got an 11-5 win at home Tuesday night over the Escambia Gators in the first round of the FHSAA 5A Regional 1 playoffs.
Before the game started, former Clay High and San Francisco Giant pitcher Jake Dunning threw out the first pitch. Dunning had a career ERA of 2.77 in 30 MLB games.
The game started with one run for each team in the first inning. Tate Sanders got an RBI double off the right field fence for the Gators and Parker Lowrance got an RBI double for the Blue Devils to put the game at 1-1 through the first inning.
Clay added two more runs in the second inning courtesy of an RBI single from Sean Alvers and a sacrifice fly from Cole Carnell.
Clay added a chunk of their runs in the fourth inning with five runs. Carnell got an RBI single, a pitching violation scored pinch runner Jacob Anderson, Collin Briggs got a sacrifice bunt and Josh Rouw and Reef Johnson both scored on passed balls.
Escambia scored two runs in the fifth inning courtesy of a passed ball that scored Ethan Pardue and an RBI single from Anthony Hall. Clay responded with an RBI double from Lowrance in the bottom of the fifth.
Escambia added their final two runs of the game in the sixth inning courtesy of a two-RBI single from Blake Clonts. Clay washed out those two runs from the Gators from Aidan Hampton’s two-RBI single to put the Blue Devils up 11-5.
The Blue Devils used numerous pitchers for their win over the Gators. Clay used five pitchers in Merrick Rapoza, Eli Roberts, Easton McMahan, Josh Rouw and Preston Andrews. The Clay pitchers combined for 12 strikeouts, six walks, four hits and five runs with only three of those runs earned.
Clay High will face the Clay County rival Ridgeview Panthers Friday night at home. Clay lost to the Panthers last time they played in an 8-1 beat down at Orange Park High School for the District Championship.