North-Central Florida High School Baseball
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Offense Powers Gainesville Past Middleburg In 7A-3 Bout

The Hurricanes got going right away and never looked back in the district road victory over the Broncos.

The Gainesville Hurricanes have been on a hot streak lately, and Thursday night the offense burst open to get into the act to pound the way to a 19-5 road victory over Middleburg. Gainesville (8-3) picked up its second win in a row and the Hurricanes have now won five of their last six.

While most of those recent wins had been low-scoring, close contests, Thursday night the offense broke out for an eight-run second inning that paved the way to victory. Gainesville sent 12 batters to the plate during the inning, and the first 10 hitters all reached. By the time Nico Samarkos smacked a three-run home run that also drove in Chase DeMichele and Sean Wiggs, the Hurricanes had opened a two-run lead into a 10-0 advantage. Samarkos had also started the inning with a single and scored the first run.

Gainesville piled on six more runs in the fourth and three final runs in the fifth. Tyler McNamee had five RBIs and Joseph Strong went 2-for-3 with four RBIs and three runs. Samarkos was 3-for-3 with four RBIs and three runs and Zeb Marquis scored twice on a 2-for-4 night.

Middleburg got on the scoreboard in the second when Blaine Bright scored on a sac-fly from Seth Loyd. The Broncos (3-6, 0-3) then made one final rally attempt in the fourth. Scott Kneer and Daniel Burnsed were both hit by pitches, and JC Miller came in to run for Burnsed. Justin Mosley followed with an RBI double to center, and Sam Higginbotham then sent an RBI single to left field. Mosley came home on an RBI groundout from Ricky Garcia and Zack Kelley kept it going with an RBI single to left.

The late surge helped cut into the deficit, but it ultimately proved too large to overcome. Gainesville added the three runs in the fifth and the first two Bronco batters in the bottom half of the frame both went down in order. JC Miller kept a small glimmer of hope alive with a single, but Gainesville reliever Danny Sarmiento got a grounder back to the mound for the final putout that ended the game.

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