Forest at Wharton | Baseball

Date: Wed 04/27/2016
Title: HS Baseball – Forest (Ocala) at Wharton (Tampa), 6:45 p.m. Pregame (first pitch at 7 p.m.)

Event Details: Join Mike Ridaught (Play-by-play) and Marty Pallman (Color) for the first round of the FHSAA Class 8A state baseball playoffs. Star Banner (Ocala) preview listed below.

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Star Banner (Ocala) preview:

Region 8A-1 Quarterfinal – Forest (Ocala) (19-8) at Wharton (Tampa) (14-10)

Winner gets: Lake Minneola or Strawberry Crest in Tuesday’s regional semifinals. Forest would travel to either team.

Scouting report: Forest took a 5-3 lead into the fifth inning against Lake Minneola in Friday’s district championship game before the Hawks went ahead for good to win the 8A-3 title. FHS was looking for its second district title in a row after a run to the state semifinals in 2015. Forest senior pitcher Kirby McMullen has 56 strikeouts in 44 innings pitched. The University of Florida signee is 6-2 with a 1.59 ERA. McMullen went the distance in a 4-3 win over Ocoee in the district semifinals. He (.416, 4 HR, 11 RBIs) also leads FHS in hitting. Andrew Eyster (.395, 5 HR, 10 2B, 4 3B, 37 RBIs), Phillip Felicien (.372, 1 HR, 28 RBIs), David Stromwall (.294, 10 RBIs) and Grant Grodi (.282, 16 RBIs) round out the FHS lineup.

Wharton pitcher Tyler Garam (4-3, 51 Ks, 52.2 IP) went six innings and gave up four hits, three walks and had four strikeouts in its win over Strawberry Crest in the 8A-4 championship game. Senior pitcher Jonathan Baughman (5-2, 1.60 ERA), an Eckerd commit, has thrown 48 innings with 84 strikeouts. Baughman went the entire way in the Wharton’s 4-1 win over Freedom in the district semis. Drew Ehrhard (.421, 7 2B, 11 RBIs), Duncan Pastore (.338, 11 RBIs) and Clayton Coringrato (.281, 3 HR, 11 RBIs) lead the Wharton offense.

Forest is ranked 11th in the latest regional baseball rankings