Santa Fe batter goes up against P.K. Yonge Pitcher

Santa Fe Raiders Dominate P.K. Yonge 

By: Dylan Pierce and Liana Handler

Coming off of a close loss on Friday to Forsyth Central (GA), the Santa Fe Raiders were aiming to get back in the win column against P.K. Yonge on Tuesday. The Raiders are nearing the playoffs and only have six remaining games.

Setting an Early Tone

In the bottom of the first, Santa Fe’s Dylan Evans blasted a pitch from P.K. Yonge’s Mack Todd for a home run, giving the Raiders an early 2-0 lead. Santa Fe’s pitching was marvelous as Dylan Lovelace and Joey Malphurs carved their way through the Blue Wave early. The duo would go on to combine for a total of seven strikeouts and set the tone for the game.

Raiders Head Coach Travis Yeckring spoke highly of the players on the mound.

“Our pitchers were kind of able to relax and just really pound the strike zone, and make them beat us offensively,” he said. “Any time you can get out on an early lead it kind of relaxes you a little bit and helps our pitchers get out there and be comfortable.”

Regaining Lost Ground

Even though P.K. Yonge started slow, they forced Santa Fe’s pitching to reconsider their approach. In the top of the second, the Raiders pulled Lovelace and  replaced him with Malphurs. While the Raiders were able to escape the inning without any runs scored, it wouldn’t be long before the Blue Wave started to regain ground. In the fifth inning, Malphurs’ struggles with finding the strike zone became apparent.

Nick Roach started the momentum with a double. Then, Micah Gratto’s RBI double scored one, and Xander Sanetz’s RBI single put the Wave within striking distance. The game was 3-2 in favor of the Raiders with two innings remaining.

Finishing Strong

Santa Fe ended the game on a high note from the miscues from P.K. Yonge’s pitching. In the bottom of the fifth, the bases were loaded for the majority of the inning, and three separate wild pitches brought in the last three runs for the Raiders. The Raiders were leading 7-2 as they headed into the top of the sixth.

Santa Fe pitcher Dylan Evans was brought into the game to close out the remaining Blue Wave hitters. The Raiders closed out P.K. Yonge with ease and cruised to a commanding 7-2 victory.

Coach Yeckring was focused on keeping the momentum rolling and said they will have to stay disciplined when they face the Blue Wave again on Friday.

“They have a good club,” he said. “We’re certainly going to have to come in there and play good defense again and try to find a better approach offensively or we’ll find ourselves in trouble.”

About Liana Handler

Liana Handler is a sophmore at the University of Florida, studying sports journalism.

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