Local Sports

  • Rematches for ’Canes, Warriors in regionals

    C.J. Risak


    Now the real fun begins.

    It starts tonight when Citrus travels to Belleview to take on the Rattlers, the third-ranked softball team in Class 5A, in a state regional quarterfinal. Game time is 7 p.m.

  • Warriors blank Peniel in semis

    David Pieklik


    OCALA — Coy Phillips struck out eight and batted in four runs and Cory Wieand hit his first home run of the season Tuesday, as Seven Rivers advanced to the District 2A-3 baseball finals with a 9-0 win over Peniel Baptist at St. John Lutheran High School.

  • ’Canes claim spot in title game

    Jon-Michael Soracchi


    INVERNESS — Tuesday night on its home field, Citrus thought the best approach to make it to the District 5A-6 baseball final — and regional playoffs — was to swing its way there.

    The Hurricanes’ aggressiveness paid huge dividends as the team pounded out 10 hits in six at-bats and used Dunnellon errors to score a 7-3 victory in the district semifinals at Hurricane Alley.

  • Pirates pull away

    INVERNESS — After enduring a five-year playoff drought, the Crystal River High School baseball club made the most of its opportunities in Tuesday’s district semifinal matchup against Lecanto. 

    With three hits, three walks and a hit-batter in the fifth and sixth innings, the No. 2 seed Pirates poured on five runs to punch their ticket to the district championship game — and next week’s state regional playoffs — in a 7-3 victory over the third-seeded Panthers at Citrus High School.

  • CR girls second at track districts

    Larry Bugg


    BROOKSVILLE — The Crystal River girls track and field team took an impressive second place Monday night in the Class 2A-District 7 meet.

    The meet began Thursday, but was postponed due to rain and lightning delays. The meet was at Central High School and there was light rain Monday that stopped about an hour into the meet.

    Host school Nature Coast won with 137 points. The Pirate girls had 110.

  • Familiar first-round matchups as district baseball tourneys begin

    Three county clubs could earn state playoff berths while at least one other will see their season end in today’s opening round of district tournament baseball.

    All of the semifinal matches involving county schools feature a repeat of last year’s pairings, making it the sixth time in two years the teams will meet. 

  • Yankees finish off road sweep of Tampa Bay

    ST. PETERSBURG — A big game at the plate by Steven Souza Jr. failed to accomplish much for the Tampa Bay Rays.

    Chase Headley and Mark Teixeira drove in two runs each, and the Yankees beat the Rays 5-3 Sunday to complete a three-game sweep.

    Souza homered, had three hits and drove in three runs.

    “It’s just a bump in the road,” he said.

    Souza also struck out with a man on base in each of his last two at bats.

  • ‘Humbling’ honor

    C.J. Risak


    In 2014, Citrus put together a superb regular season in softball, posting a 19-5 record and earning the top seed in the 5A-6 district tournament.

    That performance earned Hurricanes’ coach Larry Bishop a noteworthy honor when he was recently named the National Federation of High Schools 2014 Softball Coach of the Year for the state of Florida.

  • Florida brings back fired Alabama coach Anthony Grant

    GAINESVILLE — Florida coach Billy Donovan has the gang back together in Gainesville.

    Donovan announced Monday that he has hired former Alabama coach Anthony Grant as an assistant. Grant replaces Matt McCall, who left to take the head coaching job at Chattanooga.

    The move reunites Donovan, Grant and John Pelphrey — the trio that helped turn fledgling Florida into a Southeastern Conference and national power beginning in the late 1990s.

  • Odorizzi leads Rays over Jays

    TORONTO — Jake Odorizzi pitched eight impressive innings and the Tampa Bay Rays scored on two bases-loaded walks by R.A. Dickey to beat the Toronto Blue Jays 2-1 Monday night. 

    The Rays improved to 3-10 all-time in opponent’s home openers, sending a sellout crowd of 48,414 home unhappy.