Local Sports

  • Nightmarish seventh ends Warriors’ season

    LECANTO — Seven Rivers Christian’s postseason came to a heartbreaking conclusion on Thursday, as it surrendered five runs with two outs in the final inning to relinquish a late one-run lead in the opening round of the state baseball playoffs.

    Naples Seacrest Country Day took advantage of a couple of costly Warrior miscues, while stringing together three straight walks and then four straight hits to prevail 7-3 at Warrior Park in the Class 2A, Region 3 semifinals.

  • Tampa Bay selects Florida’s Hargreaves III

    TAMPA — The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are counting on Vernon Hargreaves III to be part of the solution for a porous secondary.

    The Florida cornerback and hometown favorite who played in high school at Tampa Wharton was the 11th pick in the NFL draft on Thursday night. He was an All-American last season and a three-time All-SEC selection with the Gators.

  • Citrus County gets several representatives at state meet

    Several members of the Citrus and Crystal River track teams will be competing in the FHSAA State Championships next week after some outstanding performances at the Class 2A-Region II Meet held Tuesday at Lake Minneola High School in Clermont.

    The top four place finishers in each event move on to the state meet May 6 and 7 at IMG Academy Stadium in Bradenton.

    A pair of girls made it out of the regional.

  • Regional glory once again?

    After claiming its fourth consecutive district title last Thursday, the Seven Rivers Christian baseball team today begins its quest to capture its second straight regional championship.

    The young club opens the state playoff tournament at home against Naples Seacrest Country Day at 4 p.m. in the regional semifinals (round of 16). It will be the first-ever state playoff game at Warrior Park in Lecanto.

  • Florida, Miami agree to renew football rivalry in 2019

    GAINESVILLE — Florida and Miami will renew their rivalry in Orlando.

    The Gators and Hurricanes have agreed to open the 2019 season at Camping World Stadium, the new name of the Citrus Bowl. It will be their first meeting since 2013.

    The in-state rivals have a storied history, with the teams first playing in 1938 in Gainesville. Miami leads the series 29-26, including wins in seven of the last eight games.

  • Kiermaier bomb leads Rays past Orioles

    ST. PETERSBURG — Kevin Kiermaier had two weak outs and fell behind 0-2 on his third at-bat against Ubaldo Jimenez.

    One swing then changed everything.

    Kiermaier hit a two-run homer and the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Baltimore Orioles 3-1 on Tuesday night.

  • Stamkos skates, but not close to returning

    TAMPA — Steven Stamkos is serving as an inspiration for the Tampa Bay Lightning as the defending Eastern Conference champions attempt to make a deep playoff run without him.

    The team’s captain and leading scorer was back on the ice with teammates Tuesday, participating in shooting and skating drills for the first time since undergoing surgery for a blood clot discovered near his right collarbone this month.

  • CR heartbreaker

    C.J. Risak


    SPRING HILL — One final swing of the bat.

    That was the situation — twice — when Springstead hosted Crystal River in a Class 6A regional semifinal Tuesday. The Pirates were one strike away from seeing their season end in the top of the seventh inning, but Lexi Laxton kept battling Springstead’s standout pitcher Kama Woodall, until she got a pitch she could handle.

  • County track athletes take shot at state meet this week

    Track and field athletes from Citrus County will attempt to qualify for the State Championships when regional meets are held during the week. The top four place finishers in each event at regionals advance to state, held May 6 and 7 at IMG Academy Stadium in Bradenton.

    The first teams in action will be Citrus and Crystal River today at the Class 2A, Region II Meet at Lake Minneola High School.

  • Pirates get final shot at Springstead in Regional semifinal

    C.J. Risak


    Prediction fulfilled.

    Just moments after Craig Swartout’s Springstead softball team — one of the state’s best in Class 6A — had defeated No. 6 seed Crystal River 3-0 in the District 6A-6 championship game, he forecast another meeting between the two, even though the Pirates were just 10-17 at the time.

    The two squads meet again tonight in a 6A Regional Semifinal in Spring Hill.