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Tiger Sharks split two before break

Tim Croft

A winning skein came to a halt for the Port St. Joe Jr./Sr. High School baseball team when the state put a temporary halt to school and extracurricular activities.

The coronavirus, and resulting cancellations, cost the Tiger Sharks, 6-3 and winners of five of their last six, games this weekend against Sneads and Liberty County and the beginning of next week against Blountstown and Bozeman.

“We are not sure what we are going to do,” said Port St. Joe coach Ashley Summerlin. “I was giving the kids off until Thursday anyway. The break gives them some rest and a chance for their bodies to heal a little bit.

“The (Florida High School Athletics Association) has left it up to (individual districts) to decide on practice and we are going to practice. Baseball is all about timing.”

“We will meet later this week or the first of next week and figure out where we go.”

Loudon (TN) 9, Port St. Joe 5

Errors were the undoing for the Tiger Sharks as they fell behind early and could never quite come all the way back.

After each team scored a run in the first inning, Loudon put up six runs in the second inning behind a series of Port St. Joe errors.

The Tiger Sharks fought back and in each of the final two innings had runners at second and third but were unable to plate any runs.

“We showed some fight coming back and that is always a good sign,” Summerlin said. “We just didn’t play well defensively. We made five errors and that was our Achilles heel.”

Port St. Joe managed just four hits, but limited strikeouts and had openings.

“Every time we had the opportunity to get back in the game we kicked the ball around and let them score,” Summerlin said.

Port St. Joe 10, Franklin County 0

Port St. Joe managed five hits, but also had 10 free passes from Franklin County pitchers in winning the game ended on the run-rule after five innings.

Kevin Lacivita went the distance to earn this third consecutive decision for Port St. Joe, allowing three hits and walking none while striking out seven.

“He continues to get better,” Summerlin said, noting the Tiger Sharks now have a solid 1-2-3 rotation. “The more he throws the more confidence he gets and the more confidence we have in him.”

Again, the Tiger Sharks cut down on the strikeouts, fanning just three times at the plate.

“We are doing a lot better job of putting the ball in play,” Summerlin.

When the Tiger Sharks will next being doing that is the question.