Article and photography by ALICE MARY HERDEN
WEEKI WACHEE, Fla.-- Three teams from Hernando County participated in the 2019 Fall Ball Classic. Nature Coast Tech, Hernando High, and Weeki Wachee.
Weeki Wachee hosted this year’s weekend event on November 1 and 2, 2019.
Saturday morning Nature Coast Tech started the classic by playing Bishop McLaughlin; unfortunately for the Sharks, Bishop kept Nature Coast scoreless for the entire six innings. Bishop exceeded four runs by the fourth inning. However, the Sharks kept them from scoring any more runs after the fourth. The game ended at NCT 0 Bishop 4.
Second game Weeki Wachee was matched up with Hernando High. Weeki Wachee gained three runs in the first inning as Hernando gained one run in the first and the sixth inning. Weeki Wachee moved up the bracket to play Bishop on Sunday with 3-2 win over Hernando.
Saturday’s third game Nature Coast Tech closed out Hernando from participating any further in the event, NCT 4- Hernando 2.
Sunday, another beautiful day on the field at Weeki Wachee High School and a long day for baseball.
First game Weeki Wachee faced Bishop. As much as Weeki Wachee tried to control their pitching mound, the throws focus was just off throughout the game. Bishop dominated Weeki Wachee 13-5.
The second game on Sunday: Weeki Wachee vs. Nature Coast. One of the teams had to win to get a slot into the championship round at St. Leo. The Sharks defeated Weeki Wachee 4-2 and proceeded on for a late-night game against Bishop.
The third game NCT beats Bishop 3-2. However, a fourth game went into play for Nature Coast and Bishop. Bishop secured their spot to St. Leo with a 6-2 win.
Nature Coast Tech still goes to St. Leo for the championship game Friday night at St. Leo University. They will play Brandon at 7 pm. If the Sharks stay focused, they may advance to Saturday’s matchup against Wiregrass.
About Bay Area Baseball
The organization was formed by Izzy Fontanez, former baseball coach and Joshua Jackson, a teacher in Pinellas County. Their passion for baseball and continued contribution towards giving exposure to high school student-athletes provides baseball scouts with another outlet for recruiting.
With Izzy in Hernando County and Joshua in the Pinellas County area, there is a broad participation area for the event.
“The main goal is to see if any kids may need a little help getting to that next level, for those that are not committed. And put them in contact or in touch with someone with some of the college resources we have,” Izzy said. “Any kid that we can help get to the next level is always a ‘W’ for us.”
Some baseball coaches are using these fall tournaments to see what they have before their spring season begins, but it also allows other teams to play teams that they usually wouldn’t play.
With seven different high schools hosting and twenty-eight high schools participating in forty-two games, the event was a great second year for Bay Area Baseball.
For more information about Bay Area Baseball visit their website at https://www.bayareabaseball.net/