Lakewood Overcomes Three-Run Deficit To Defeat Lemon Bay
The Lemon Bay Manta Rays hosted the Lakewood Spartans Wednesday night in a 5A regional quarterfinal game. The Spartans fell behind by as much as three runs but rallied in the top of the seventh to beat the Manta Rays 6-5 and advance to the regional semifinals.
The Spartans began to chip away at the lead in the fifth inning. Dontae Mitchell hit a RBI triple with two outs to score Bichette and pull to within two runs.
Mitchell continued the rally in the seventh inning by working a bases loaded walk that scored Anthony Hudson for the Spartans’ fourth run of the game. An error on the Manta Rays tied the game as it allowed Jaime Robles to score from third. Bichette’s third run of the game during the next at-bat gave the Spartans a lead they would not relinquish.
Spartans starter Aiden O’Dowd returned to the mound to finish the game. O’Dowd needed 10 pitches to retire the side in the seventh the secure the victory and advance the Spartans to the regional semifinals.
The Spartans (13-13) scored the first run of the game in the top of the first inning. Sonny Neuman took a 1-0 pitch and sent it into left field to score Bo Bichette from second.
Warner Rincones tied the game in the bottom of the first for the Manta Rays (16-10) when he scored on an error by the infield. One inning later, the Manta Rays took the lead on a sacrifice fly from Stephen Yulee, scoring Zach Pellicciotti from third.
The lead was short-lived, however, as Bichette tied the game with one swing of the bat, sending a ball deep over the center field fence.
Once again, the Manta Rays responded quickly. With two on and no one out, Trey Fields sent a blistering ball into center field for a double to score Brandon Gielow and Jaryd Clary giving them a 4-2 lead. Rincones second run of the game increased the lead to three.