ROCKLEDGE – Umatilla took one hit and knocked favored Rockledge High out of the Class 5A baseball playoffs on Thursday, 4-2.
Raiders errors brought three Bulldogs runners home and a walk scored another in the regional quarterfinal round, while Merritt Island went on the road and beat the team that beat Umatilla. The Mustangs upset Eustis by the same score.
Rockledge’s season ended at 26-3 a year after the team advanced to the state tournament. In the other 5A game in Brevard County, Archbishop McCarthy (24-5) defeated Palm Bay 9-0.
Despite the loss and a 9-18 finish for the Pirates, the team won its first district championship since 2004.
“The program definitely took a turn for the better,” Palm Bay coach Sean Comfort said. “The whole community finally got involved, and there’s a lot of excitement in the school. Winning that title shows that Palm Bay baseball is back and we’re getting on the right track here.”
Palm Bay pitchers combined for nine strikeouts of Mavericks hitters.
In Class 7A, Melbourne lost at Gulf Coast, 10-0, leaving only the Mustangs and Eau Gallie — with a 1-0 Commodores win over Lake Wales on Wednesday — alive in the baseball playoffs from Brevard.
At Rockledge, a Michael Hall RBI in the second inning brought Kevin Clanton home and gave the Raiders a 1-0 lead. In the sixth with the Bulldogs leading 4-1, a Drew Parrish double led to the other Rockledge run when Tyler DeClercq singled with two out.
Umatilla took a 2-1 lead on a bases-loaded walk in the fifth, and two more scored on a slow bouncer in the infield by Bulldogs pitcher Jesse Getford.
Umatilla, which was the District 13 runner-up to Eustis, will host District 14 runner-up Merritt Island on Tuesday. The Bulldogs improved to 15-8.
Eustis pitcher Brady Singer, throwing over 90 miles per hour, was a fearsome opponent for the rest of 5A, but by the time a Jackson Muldowney home run landed in the sixth inning, the Mustangs had a two-run lead they would not relinquish.
Tyler Vazquez contributed to this report.