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A pair of shutout victories over the weekend pushed the Crystal River Senior Little League All-Star baseball team into the state tournament semifinals.
Crystal River defeated Bloomingdale (Tampa) 10-0 Saturday night and blanked Niceville on Sunday, 2-0.
The Citrus County squad returns to the diamond in Fort Lauderdale tonight at 8:30 p.m. against DeBary-Seminole in semifinal action.
“Our pitching has been outstanding the whole time we have been here. Hopefully we can maintain that,” Crystal River manager Dennis McClure said.
In Saturday’s victory over Bloomingdale, Derek Rogers, Tyler Boland and Jordan Humphreys combined for a one-hit shutout. Rogers struck out five, Boland four and Humphreys two.
Humphreys also went 2 for 3 at the plate with a double and two runs scored, while Zac Pattison had a double and scored three times.
The game ended in the sixth inning by the 10-run mercy rule when Tanner McClure executed a picture-perfect squeeze play.
Rogers and Cory Weiand combined for another one-hit shutout for Crystal River on Sunday against Niceville. Rogers fanned five in 3 2/3 innings and Weiand struck out four in 3 1/3 innings.
Daylon Rogers and Pattison each drove in a run in Crystal River’s two-run fourth inning. Collin Basnight had a double.
“Niceville was an excellent team. They were probably the favorite coming in. They have a pretty good program up there,” Dennis McClure said. “We played some good ball to take care of them. We played sound defense and our pitching was solid again.”
Crystal River was the only team at state to finish 3-0 in pool play.