The Santa Fe Raiders baseball team hosted the Forsyth Central Bulldogs (GA) in a non-district game Friday night. The Bulldogs were in Alachua for a two-day swing, coming off a blowout loss at Buchholz High the night before.
Forsyth Central bounced back and brought the bats early. They fended off a valiant comeback effort from the Raiders to take a 4-3 win back to Georgia.
Forsyth Strikes First
The Bulldogs were patient to start the game. Hitters kept the bat on their shoulder for most of the first inning, drawing three walks and loading the bases with two outs. Santa Fe got out of the jam with a strikeout, but the Bulldogs had already applied pressure.
Forsyth Central stayed patient in the top of the second, getting two men on via hit-by-pitch.
With runners on first and second and just one out, outfielder Braden Wudi delivered an RBI double to score the first run of the game and advance a man to third base.
An ensuing passed ball allowed the runner to score from third, and the Bulldogs took a 2-0 lead into the second.
An RBI single into center left puts the Bulldogs on the board. 1-0, 2 down in the 2nd. pic.twitter.com/YbWr7xRedw
— Liana Handler (@HandlerLiana) April 7, 2023
Hudson Roach kept the offense hot with a double into deep right field to start the third inning. Pinch runner Cam Yeager took advantage of back-to-back wild pitches, scoring from second to make it 3-0 Bulldogs.
Santa Fe Responds
After Forsyth Central scored their third run, Joey Malphurs entered the game in relief for Santa Fe. He secured the final out in the top of the inning, and turned things over to the Raiders offense.
Sophomore Tyler Whitworth led off the bottom of the third with a single. Pinch runner Deacon Northway would eventually come home on an RBI groundout by Kyler Nowling, pulling his team to within two.
With his team on the board, Joey Malphurs dominated the top of the fourth inning, striking out all three batters he faced. Not only did Malphurs’ excellent pitching keep Santa Fe in the game, it seemed to ignite the offense as well.
With a runner on and one out in the bottom of the fourth, senior Dalton Dampier stepped in. He drew a walk in his first plate appearance, making him eager to swing the bat. He did not miss his opportunity. Dampier unloaded on a ball to deep left field, sending it over the fence and into the trees for a two run home run and tying the game.
Bulldogs Close it Out
With the game knotted at three, Forsyth looked to retake the lead in the top of the sixth inning with a runner on second base and one out. Outfielder Daniel Smith delivered a huge RBI double into the gap in left center field, reclaiming the lead for the Bulldogs.
RBI double for Daniel Smith puts the Bulldogs back into the lead, 4-3 in the top of the 6th. pic.twitter.com/DQzriom9DH
— Liana Handler (@HandlerLiana) April 8, 2023
Santa Fe threatened back in the bottom of the sixth, with the bases loaded and two outs. Luke DiJohn entered the game on the mound for Forsyth Central and escaped the inning with a pop out. DiJohn stayed on in the bottom of the seventh, striking out two and blanking the Raiders to win the game.
Forsyth Central ends their Florida trip with a 1-1 split, as they return to Georgia to finish the season.
Santa Fe will look to bounce back at home on Tuesday against P.K. Younge.