The Sonic Drive-In Player-of-the-Game for Wednesday, April 11, is Luke Baker of the Buchholz (Gainesville) baseball team.
Baker allowed only one hit and struck out 10 in a complete game as host Buchholz scored two runs in the bottom of the 7th to rally past Forest (Ocala) 2-1 in a key District 3-8A game Wednesday night.
Baker walked three and hit two batters but had a no-hitter for 6 2/3 innings. The only Forest hit was a blooper by Harrison Pesola with two outs in the top of the 7th, scoring Tyler Waddell and giving Forest a 1-0 lead.
But Baker was finally rewarded for his hard work, as Buchholz came up with two runs for the win. Anthony Ragosta replaced Forest starter JJ Finn on the mound, and walked Matt Moss to start the inning. Parker Green then tried to move the runner over, and bunted back to the pitcher, but Ragosta threw wildly to first for the only error of the game for either team, and Buchholz had 2nd and 3rd with no outs.
Josh Fowler then brought in pinch runner Vinny Nelson with a sacrifice fly to right field to tie the game at 1. Then Buchholz leadoff hitter Corbin Grantham double to the game in right-center field to give Buchholz the walkoff win.
Baker struck out two batters in the second, third, fourth, and fifth innings and had a punchout in every inning with the exception of the 6th. Grantham was the only player for either team with multiple hits in the game.
Buchholz is now 14-5 and moves into first place in District 3-8A with a 6-1 mark. Forest falls to 14-4 and 5-2 in district play.
These two teams will meet again on Friday night in Ocala, which is the final district matchup for both teams.
Every game The Prep Zone will recognize a Player-of-the-Game. The recipient receives a $10 gift certificate courtesy of Sonic Drive-In of Gainesville & Ocala.