The Santa Fe Raiders faced off against the Palatka Panthers in the 4A District 4 semifinal baseball game. Santa Fe walked away with a 8-1 victory over the Panthers. The Raiders will host the district championship Thursday at 7 p.m.
Santa Fe Coach Travis Yeckring shared his thoughts on the Raiders’ district semifinal win.
Panthers Pounce First
Dylan Evans took the mound for the Raiders to start the game. Palatka’s Jonathon Germany attacked first with a score thanks to Tyler McInnis’ RBI.
Entering the bottom of the first inning down one run, the Raiders fought to even the score. Santa Fe’s Devan Mitchum took two bases off a Panther error to put himself in scoring position. Matthew Geelhoed’s RBI single brought Devan Mitchum home and tied the game 1-1.
Evans Sparks Santa Fe
Santa Fe’s Evans was a force to be reckoned with Tuesday night. On the mound, he quickly retired two Palatka batters via strikeouts. Evans followed up the strikeouts by hammering a hit into right field, allowing Zane Starling and Dalton Dampier to score two more Raider runs.
Dylan Evans’ drive into right field brings Zane Starling and Dalton Dampier home
— Shailey Klein (@shaileyklein) May 3, 2022
Devante Mitchum continued the action with a triple, bringing pinch-runner Dontrell Jenkins home for another Raider score. Santa Fe exited the second inning with a 4-1 lead over the Panthers.
Overwhelming Fourth Inning
Tyler Whitworth sent a hit deep into left field to reach second base, and a wild pitch from Palatka allowed him to steal third. Devante and Devan Mitchum were both walked to load the bases for Santa Fe. The next batter, Geelhoed, was also walked to bring home Whitworth from third.
Palatka Coach Sam Rick visited the mound and elected to keep Seth Waltimeyer pitching. The decision proved to be a good one, as the Panthers escaped the inning without giving up any more runs, despite the bases being loaded.
Brown Boosts Raiders with Home Run
Conner Brown sent a solo home run deep into left field to get the Raider offense rolling in the fifth inning. Starling followed it up with a single and stole second shortly after.
Solo home run for Conner Brown!
— Shailey Klein (@shaileyklein) May 4, 2022
The Panthers continued to struggle throwing strikes in the fifth inning. Ben Thompson was walked, and Devante Mitchum was nailed by a pitch to load the bases once again for the Raiders. Starling scored off a wild pitch to extend the Raiders’ lead 7-1 at the end of the fifth inning.
In the bottom of the sixth inning, Dalton Dampier dropped a hit in center field, bringing Conner Brown home. Brown’s run secured the 8-1 victory over the Panthers.
District Championship Within Reach
Santa Fe Coach Travis Yeckring discusses what his team will need to do to capture the district crown.
The Raiders will fight to defend their district title Thursday at 7 p.m. against Dunnellon High School. Santa Fe defeated the Tigers twice in the regular season.