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CRYSTAL RIVER — Trailing 6-0 in the second inning, the Dunnellon Tigers uncaged their bats and stormed ahead for good with a 13-10 win Monday over Central Citrus in the 9/10 Little League All-Stars baseball tournament.
Logan Milne’s deep fly ball to center field on a 3-2 count against pitcher Gabe Cairone began a seven-run inning for Dunnellon (2-0). Brody Luckey, Chandler Hiers, Caleb Beville and Trent Townsend all brought runners home, and the Tigers held the lead for good.
“They put six on us, we answered. They didn’t quit, they didn’t lay down,” Dunnellon manager Ryan Townsend said afterward.
Milne was concerned when his team went down by so many runs early, but added after the game, “I knew our team’s true potential. We can come back and beat any team.”
The Tigers face Lady Lake tonight as part of the final matchups before the semifinal round.
Unlike its tournament-opening game against Crystal River, Dunnellon struggled initially with pitching. Three batters were walked, and Kevin Osborne’s two-RBI single capped the first inning for Central Citrus (1-1), with Steven Sams batting in two runs, and Kyle Haros bringing in a run on a single.
After a run on an error increased the lead to six after 1 1/2 innings, the Tigers answered quickly. Caleb Beville’s deep fly ball scored Luckey from second base and gave Dunnellon the 7-6 lead, with Beville saying afterward “I haven’t hit a hit like that in a while.”
In their next at bats, Dunnellon added to the score with a three-RBI double by Beville, with Duane Darnell and Trent Townsend each getting an RBI and extending the lead to six.
Central Citrus did not give up, with a few runs scored on wild pitches and a two-RBI single from Evan Silverthorn narrowing the score to 12-10. A sacrifice hit by Luckey added a late run for Dunnellon before Trent Townsend came in at pitcher to shut the game down, striking out five of the last eight batters he faced to end the night with six strikeouts.
Lady Lake vs. Crystal River
Bicentennial Park hosted another game Monday, with Lady Lake and Crystal River engaged in a high-scoring matchup that stretched late into the evening. Crystal River led 13-1 heading into the fifth inning before Lady Lake cut into the lead and trailed by four runs late.
Crystal River was able to put a few more runs on the board in their half of the sixth inning, with Lady Lake having the final at bats because of being considered the home team.
Results of the outcome were not available by press time.
Inverness 13, Shady Hills 3
West Hernando 17, Greater Hudson 11
Inverness claimed the Pool B title in the 9/10 Little League All-Stars baseball tournament at West Hernando in Spring Hill with a 13-3 victory over Shady Hills.
Inverness finished a perfect 3-0 in pool play.
West Hernando outscored Greater Hudson 17-11 to claim the runner-up spot in Pool B play.
The two teams advance to the semifinals Thursday at West Hernando at 6:30 p.m. Their opponents from Pool A will be decided Tuesday when the final games from that pool are contested at Bicentennial Park in Crystal River.