Newberry rallies to defeat Chipley to claim first state baseball title in school history

Panthers four-run 5th inning propels them to first baseball championship
Updated: May. 20, 2021 at 11:37 PM EDT
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FORT MYERS, Fla. (WCJB) - The Class 1A State Championship baseball game featured two teams with a combined record of 50-2, but neither of which had ever won a state title. After Thursday night’s contest, the Newberry Panthers are adding some long awaited hardware to their trophy collection.

The Panthers trailed 2-0 in the top of the first after starting pitcher Justin Crews issued back-to-back walks with the bases loaded. Head Coach Mike Spina pulled Crews after he allowed the second run to score, and brought in first baseman Logan Carlisle in relief.

Carlisle only pitched once during the season, but came in to the bases loaded jam with poise, and struck out the Tigers’ hitter to end the inning only down a couple runs.

In the home half of the inning, Carlisle helped his own cause by blasting a deep, fly ball to left that hit at the bottom of the wall. The standup double brought home Luke Ridley to cut the deficit to 2-1.

The one-run game remained that way until the top of the 4th. The Tigers’ bats finally got to Carlisle and ended up scoring two more runs to increase their lead to 4-1.

Mason Tomchak came in relief, but did surrender a run on a fielders choice before he closed out the frame. Chipley lead 5-1 entering the bottom of the 4th.

In the home-half of the inning, an errant throw to first on a double play ball allowed Newberry’s second run to score, followed by Jayden Holcomb’s rbi single to bring the Panthers within two.

Bottom 5th, Newberry was gifted two runs on back-to-back walks with the bases loaded to tie the game, 5-5. With the bases still loaded and no outs, Jonathan Moore grounded to short, but another wild throw to first sailed over the first baseman’s glove and allowed Makai Johnson and Carlisle to score. The Panthers now lead 7-5 with just six outs remaining for their first state title.

After Tomchak breezed through the top of the 6th, he allowed a bus runner in the top of the 7th, but got Carson Shores to fly out to right field. Upon making the game-ending catch, Caden Massey streaked for the pitchers mound where the rest of his teammates dog-piled on top of each other in celebration.

Newberry overcame a 4-run deficit to battle back and defeat Chipley 7-5 to win the first state baseball title and in school history.

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