ORANGE PARK - A three run fifth inning fueled a late comeback for the Orange Park Athletic Association 12-unders en route to a 7-5 win over Green Cove Springs in the Babe Ruth Baseball League Cal …
ORANGE PARK - A three run fifth inning fueled a late comeback for the Orange Park Athletic Association 12-unders en route to a 7-5 win over Green Cove Springs in the Babe Ruth Baseball League Cal Ripken Division District 4 championship series tournament final played Saturday at the OPAA Fields in Orange Park. Orange Park advances to the Florida Babe Ruth Baseball state tournament July 4-7 in Live Oak, FL.
Orange Park A.A. 10-unders also advanced to their state tournament with Orange Park getting a first round bye before facing the winner of a Thurs., July 4 (9am) game between West Volusia and Ft. Caroline at 1 p.m. That tournament is staged at Fort Caroline.
Oakleaf's 9-Unders will play in their Florida North Cal Ripken 9U state tournament in Lake City with also a first round bye and an opening game scheduled for Fri., July 5 at 9 a.m. against the winner of a round one game between Ormond Beach and Gainesville.
Orange Park pitcher Ethan Bouchie controlled the mound for the contest with seven strikeouts for the game.
Green Cove Springs opened with two first inning runs off a single by Ethan Mathis and a triple from Gabriel Barker scoring the first run. A grounder to Chris Buchanan plated the second run before Bouchie ended the inning with a flyout.
Orange Park answered with four runs behind singles to Caleb Richardson, Johnny Antonis with Kyle Hallmark doubling in two runs. Anthony Sanson singled to score Bouchie with Fernando Hernandez doubling to put four runs on the board and put Orange Park up 4-2.
Bouchie got two Ks and a grounder in the second inning while Buchanan, on the mound for Green Cove Springs, wiggled out of a bases loaded inning off a single and two walks with an inning-ending strikeout.
Green Cove Springs answered in the third with three runs coming from a hit batter (Mathis) and Xavier Longmire walking in front of a run scoring single from Barker and a sacrifice fly to Buchanan.
Up 5-4, Green Cove Springs looked to close the game and force a second game in the double elimination format, but Orange Park put three runs on the board in the fifth with two walks and a single loading the bases with a grounder to Eliel Marty putting two runs in and a walk putting Orange Park up 5-4.
Green Cove Springs loaded the bases off three straight singles from Aaron Stacy, Luke Lancaster and Jaylen Williams, but Bouchie locked down with a strikeout and two flyballs to end the game.