Hagerty wins marathon 8A semifinal

By Despina Barton, Bright House Sports Network
Last Updated: Saturday, May 21, 2016

The bats didn’t’ take a breather in the 8A semifinal between Hagerty and Forest Friday at Jet Blue Park in Ft. Myers.

As the two teams combined to set a new state semifinals scoring record en route to Hagerty defeating Forest, 19-16 in 12 innings.

First pitch of the game Huskies (24-6) Brian Ellis turned into a single, then three batters later would be driven in by Britt Crawford to jump out in front, 1-0.

Forest (22-9) made their move in the bottom of the second off a single courtesy Harley Hudson that combined with a fielding error to allow two runners to cross home and take the lead.

The team that was here a year ago didn’t leave any room for error tacking on three more runs in the bottom of the third and another five in the 4th to nearly 10-run rule the team from Oviedo.

But a tag at home plate kept that off the table as the Wildcats jump out in front, 10-1.

Rally caps came on for Hagerty, on the brink of elimination, punching in eight runs off 10 hits in the top of the fifth.

The inning highlighted by UCF commit Brian Ellis’ deep smack to left field clearing the bases making bringing the team within two.

Another score would come in before a lightning delay was called at 5:50pm with one out to go, 10-9.

Four hours later the game would resume and so would the Hagerty’s run as clean up batter Britt Crawford singles in Riley Green for the game tying run.

Hagerty would put a total of 12 runs on the board, off 11 hits, in the fifth inning and almost worked around the order twice to take the 13-10 lead.  But that would  not be enough as this one had to be settled in extra innings.

It took eight hours and 34 minutes to complete the game after a four hour rain delay and extra innings—at the end of 12 it was Hagerty who ultimately worked from behind to seal its first ever bid to championship game.

The Huskies will play winner of Steinbrenner and Westland Saturday at 7:35pm in the 8A State Championship. The game will be televised live on BHSN Ch. 1147.