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Williston to play for the state title

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Williston_baseballRed Devils defeat Hamilton County in the Class 1A state semifinals

FORT MYERS – The streak continues for the Williston baseball team.

A year after posting back-to-back shutouts against Paxton and Chipley in last year’s FHSAA Final Four, the Red Devils got a complete-game three-hitter from senior Tyler Moore in a 1-0 win over Hamilton County (Jasper) in the Class 1A state semifinals at JetBlue Park in Fort Myers.

With the win, top-ranked Williston (27-2) will advance to the 1A title game against Blountstown on Thursday night at 7:35 p.m.

“Tyler has competed all year long and did again tonight,” said head coach Scott Hall. “He was staying in the zone and didn’t have a lot of strikeouts but did a wonderful job keeping them off balance.”

Moore (8-0) struck out four and walked only one for the defending state champion Red Devils, who have now won 19 games in a row.

“I felt good and was confident the whole time,” Moore said. “I felt like one run was going to be enough because I planned on shutting them (Hamilton County) out.”

Moore’s counterpart, Hamilton County’s Kaleb Sadler, kept the Red Devils off balance by striking out five and walking only two. The senior only allowed four hits.

However, with two outs in the fifth, University of Florida commit Austin Langworthy doubled down the left field line to score John Elderkin, who had led off the inning with a single.

Langworthy, who will pitch in the title game, had struck out the two previous at-bats against Sadler, but the junior came through with the game-winning RBI.

“I felt like I got a pitch in my zone the third time up,” Langworthy said. “I was just trying to be patient and I got my pitch.”

Hamilton County, which was making its first state semifinal appearance since 1978, finished the season at 17-12.

In the other Class 1A semifinal, Blountstown, which was making its first-ever state semifinal appearance in baseball, upset Northview (Bratt), 7-4.  The Tigers (22-8) had at least one hit in every inning and finished with 10 hits in knocking off the state’s No. 2 ranked team.

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