Strawberry Crest baseball’s scoreboard may have been broken Wednesday night, but the team’s winning streak was not.
The Chargers hosted the Wharton Wildcats in Wednesday’s 8A-Region 1 semifinal and picked up a come-from-behind 3-2 win over their district rivals. The game was played Wednesday night because of rough weather in Dover Tuesday evening.
Down 2-0 after Zach Ehrhard and Dylan McDonald put Wharton ahead in the first inning, Crest was able to get on the scoreboard in the bottom of the second when Ben Pues scored Ryan Dell. Jacob Heath tied the game at 2-2 shortly afterward, driving in Pues with his own RBI.
Neither team could get much offense going until the bottom of the fifth, when Crest took the lead for good thanks to Joey Parrillo’s baserunning and a mistake by Wharton reliever Steven Hotinski. Parrillo reached base on a leadoff walk, took second base with Tanner Kelley at bat and reached third on a botched pickoff attempt. Hotinski came in to pitch for the Wildcats at this time and, after inducing a Kelley groundout, Parrillo was able to score on a balk with Derek Barone batting. The Chargers then loaded the bases with a 3-2 lead and two outs, but Hotinski was able to get Heath out to end the inning.
Damien Torres, who relieved pitcher Brent May in the top of the fifth inning, kept Wharton at bay and got the win in just over two innings of work.
With the win, Crest has advanced to the May 22 regional final at Fleming Island. The Golden Eagles most recently beat Tallahassee-Chiles, 7-3, on May 15 at Chiles. The winner of that game will advance to the state Final Four to play the winner of the May 22 Sarasota-Plant game.