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#2 Tate Holds Off #1 Mosley In Sarasota Baseball Classic

The 32nd Annual Sarasota Baseball Classic continued Tuesday with a quarterfinal clash between two of the top teams in the state, the Tate Aggies (#19 HSBN Power Rankings) and the undefeated Mosley Dolphins (#4 HSBN Power Rankings), at Venice High School. The two clubs sit in the top two positions of the local power rankings, and on Tuesday night it was #2 Tate that held off #1 Mosley 6-4, giving the Dolphins their first loss of the season.

Ian Ruiz scored the go-ahead run in the bottom of the sixth inning for the Aggies, who tacked on two more runs and advanced to the tournament Final Four. Tate will now play at Sarasota in Wednesday’s semifinal.

“Tonight’s game was as good a high school baseball game as you could ask for,” said Aggies Manager Greg Blackmon. “Both teams competed hard until the final out. We were fortunate enough to come out on top this time. Mosley will win many more games and go deep into the playoffs.”

Hunter NeSmith led the offensive charge for the Aggies (11-1), doing a bulk of his damage during a three-run bottom of the fourth for the Aggies. NeSmith drove in one and scored a run in the inning, and ended the night going 2-for-3 with a run scored and two runs driven in.

The previously undefeated Dolphins (10-1) had an opportunity early on to put the game out of reach after a sequence of plays, including a walk and a single, loaded the bases with no outs in the top of the third inning. But the Aggies would keep the game scoreless with three straight defensive plays, including a play at-the-plate for the second out of the inning.

Ryan Yeager, Nicky Agosto, and Brian Roberson provided much of the offense for the Dolphins, each driving in a run and combining to go 4-for-10 with a run scored and a walk from Roberson. Sophmore Blake Vineyard added a RBI as well and Michael Cullen scored a pair of runs but it wasn’t enough to overcome the Aggies pair of three-run innings and missed opportunities early on that loomed large over the outcome.

Only two starters failed to collect a hit for Tate, who had an efficient night at the plate. Kyle Hultgren matched NeSmith’s two RBIs with two of his own to give the Aggies their first lead of the game in the bottom of the fourth. Mason Land, Logan Blackmon, Corben Young and Ethan Bloodworth made up the other four runs for the Aggies.

Logan McGuffey and Gabe Castro took care of business on the mound for Tate. The duo allowed just six hits and struck out three batters in the victory. McGuffey started the game but Castro picked up the win, helping propel the Aggies into a semifinal showdown against the Sarasota Sailors on Wednesday.

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