Local Sports

  • 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.

  • Archer fans 10, Rays top O’s

    ST. PETERSBURG — Chris Archer struck out 10 over 6 2/3 innings to end a 10-start winless streak, and the Tampa Bay Rays beat Kevin Gausman and the Baltimore Orioles 2-0 on Monday night.

    Archer (1-4) allowed five hits to get his first win since beating the Orioles on Aug. 31. The Rays opening day starter was 0-7 during the winless stretch.

    Archer also ended a 10-start winless run at home, which included six losses, dating to a June 23 victory over Toronto.

  • Rays’ Souza homers twice on 27th birthday

    NEW YORK — Steven Souza Jr. celebrated his 27th birthday in style. Drew Smyly was the guy getting all the gifts.

    Souza homered twice and the Tampa Bay Rays went deep five times in all, finally giving Smyly some run support Sunday in an 8-1 victory over the New York Yankees.

  • Making Mom proud

    David Pieklik

  • Could FSU kicker Aguayo go in second round?

    TALLAHASSEE — Roberto Aguayo has tried not to buy into the speculation that he might be the first kicker in 11 years to be selected in the first three rounds of the NFL draft.

    But with the draft less than a week away, everything is lining up well for the former Florida State kicker.

  • Stealing a victory

    NEW YORK — Jacoby Ellsbury stole home, a daring dash that seemed to startle most everyone at Yankee Stadium and helped New York rush past the Tampa Bay Rays 6-3 Friday night.

    Ellsbury became the first Yankees player to pull off a straight steal of home since Derek Jeter since 2001. And Ellsbury's timing in the fifth inning was really surprising: He took off with two outs on a full-count pitch to Brett Gardner, who let it go high for ball four.

  • Lecanto’s Casey realizes a lifetime dream

    Lecanto defensive back and receiver Caleb Casey realized a lifetime dream on Friday, as he signed a letter of intent to play football at Concordia University- Chicago in River Forest, Illinois.

    “This has been my goal my whole life,” the LHS senior said. “I started playing Sharks (Pop Warner) football at 7 years old, and I knew I wanted to play college football. 

    “This is a dream come true.”

  • Rays’ bats batter Red Sox

    BOSTON — Curt Casali is a lifetime .198 hitter who was holding down the No. 9 spot in the batting order for the Tampa Bay Rays, the lowest-scoring team in baseball.

    So how to explain his .625 batting average — with three homers in eight at-bats — against David Price, a six-time All-Star and 2012 Cy Young Award winner?

  • Warriors events headed to regional track

    The Seven Rivers Christian track teams traveled to Oak Hall High School in Gainesville on Wednesday for the District 1A-5 Meet.

    The top four place finishers in each event qualified for regionals, and the Warriors had four girls events and three boys events move on.

    In the girls meet, the Warriors finished fourth with 49 points, thanks in large part to the performances of Paige Eckart.