The Dunnellon baseball team wasn’t leaving much to chance in its district tournament opener. The Tigers jumped out to a 10-0 lead in the first inning en route to a 15-9 win over North Marion on Tuesday, May 3.

DHS (17-8) advanced to the District 4A-4 championship game Thursday, May 5, with the win, as it faced off against top-seeded Santa Fe in Alachua. The Raiders won the championship game 3-1 to advance to the regional playoffs. The Tigers were not an at-large playoff qualifier, due to the FHSAA power rankings.

The Tiger bats erupted in the first two innings at Mike Payne Field to take a 14-0 lead into the third inning. Five Tigers had multiple hits in the game, with sophomore catcher Talan Watson leading the way with a double, a home run and three RBI. Senior first baseman Trent Townsend was 2 for 4 with a double and two RBI. Dunnellon combined for 13 hits in the game.

The Colts struck back with 4- and 5-run rallies in the third and fourth innings, respectively, but sophomore reliever Martin Hanrahan cooled off the North Marion comeback bid by fanning six batters in 3.2 shutout innings while allowing just two hits and one walk.

Dunnellon lost its last two meetings with NMHS this season but captured the No. 2 seed in the tournament, which earned it a first-round bye on Monday and a home game on Tuesday. The Colts (12-13) beat Lake Weir 13-3 in the quarterfinal round. Santa Fe (19-6) defeated Palatka 8-1 in the other district semifinal game on Tuesday.

Lady Tigers blast Mount Dora in tourney opener

The Dunnellon softball team was eliminated from the District 4A-4 tournament on Tuesday against The Villages, but not before posting a 16-1 romp over Mount Dora in the quarterfinals on Monday. The girls made the most of 10 walks, three hits and four Hurricane errors. Junior Macie Dewitz, sophomore Abigail Beville and freshman Kayla Bordelon had multi-RBI hits for DHS, while Bordelon fanned six and allowed one run in three innings.

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