MUSTANGS 5 COYOTES 1

BROOKSVILLE – The COVID-19 pandemic denied Mitchell High the chance to defend its Farm Bureau Classic championship last season, so the Mustangs just went ahead and did so in 2021.

Mitchell took down red-hot Cypress Creek 5-1 in Friday night’s championship game to keep the trophy in Trinity for another year.

The Mustangs (10-4) spotted Cypress Creek a 1-0 lead when Peyton Petry opened the evening with a towering leadoff homer to right field, but it was all Mitchell the rest of the way.

Starter Anderson Adler bounced back from the quick jack, earning the victory by surrendering three more hits over 4 1/3 innings. Reliever Nick Del Negro picked up a 2 2/3-inning save after entering during a pivotal moment in the fifth inning. The junior took the mound with a 5-1 lead and Coyotes at first and second with one out. Facing his first batter, a fielding error loaded the bases. Unfazed, Del Negro responded with a strikeout and threat-ending groundout to second.

Cypress Creek (10-2) won its first three tourney games by a combined score of 15-1, first handing host Hernando its first loss of the season and then taking out quality opponents in Land O’ Lakes and Bishop McLaughlin. After going down in order in the second and third innings, Cypress Creek put its leadoff batter on base in the fourth, fifth and sixth. Touching home proved elusive, however, as the Coyotes all stranded six of its baserunners during that stretch, including four in scoring position.

Mitchell tied Friday night’s title game in the second when James Hill lashed an RBI double into the left-field corner and took the lead an inning later on Ezra Brennan’s run-scoring single that scored Maguire Anderson. Anderson helped set up that RBI by leading off the frame legging out an infield single and promptly stealing second and third.

The Mustangs broke things open with a three-run fourth, highlighted by a two-run homer from Hill (2-for-3, three RBI, HR, 2B). Scott Pirozzi set up the fifth and final run with a one-out double. Two batters later, leadoff man Aidan Miller drove in Pirozzi with a triple into the left-center gap.

Mitchell reached the championship by run-ruling Bushnell South Sumter and Weeki Wachee before handing Nature Coast Tech its first loss of the season.

The Mustangs get back to action Tuesday with a Class 6A District 9 home challenge against East Lake.

Cypress Creek plays again Tuesday, as well, heading to South Sumter for a non-district matchup.

BOX SCORE:

CC – 100 000 0 --- 1-6-1

Mit – 011 300 x --- 5-6-1

WP – Anderson Adler

LP – Christian Mendez-Rosado (1-1)

S – Nick Del Negro

TOP PERFORMERS:

Cypress Creek (10-2)

Peyton Petry – 1-for-4, RBI, R, HR

Caden Kwiat – 2-for-3, 2B

Anthony Menendez – 2-for-3

Ethan Petry – 1-for-2, 2B, HBP – 1.0 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 BB

Mitchell (10-4)

Anderson Adler – Win 4.1 IP, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 K, 1 BB, 1 HBP

James Hill – 2-for-3, 3 RBI, R, HR, 2B

Nick Del Negro – Save 2.2 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 3 K, 0 BB

Aidan Miller – 1-for-3, RBI, 3B