MOUNT DORA — Baseball can be made to look relatively easy when you hit when it’s most important.
Such as, with runners in scoring position.
South Sumter proved that age-old adage to be true Tuesday in a 10-0 win in five innings against Mount Dora at Heim Field. The game was stopped after five innings due to the 10-run mercy rule.
The Raiders batted .375 – 6 of 16 – in potential scoring situations against a pair of Hurricanes pitchers and totaled nine hits for the game. Meanwhile, South Sumter starter Matthew Tadlock, the Daily Commercial All-Area Player of the Year in 2017, and reliever Jake Adams limited Mount Dora to just three hits and 0-for-12 with runners on second or third base.
South Sumter scored in four of five innings, including five runs in the second to give Tadlock more than enough of a cushion. Tadlock pitched four innings and was overpowering when he needed to be, recording six of his seven strikeouts with runners in scoring position.
Deontae Grant, Diego Arredondo and Andy Ashley scored two runs apiece for South Sumter (3-2). Ricky Tenorio, Nate Eastburn, Adams and Zander Eastburn also scored for the Raiders.
Arredondo scored on a wild pitch in the fifth to give South Sumter its 10-run advantage.
Mount Dora starter Bryant Heston lasted only 1 2/3 innings. He gave up seven and six runs — five of which were earned.
Cody Bruns came on in relief of Heston and went the rest of the way for the Hurricanes. He allowed only two hits and four runs in 3 1/3 innings, but none of the runs he surrendered were earned as the Mount Dora defense committed four errors.
Mount Dora (4-4) had multiple opportunities against Tadlock. The leadoff hitter for the Hurricanes reached second or third base in each of the first four innings, but Tadlock always managed to reach back and find an extra gear to silence each threat.
Nate Eastburn, Hector Arredondo, and Ashley had two hits each to power the Raiders at the plate. Hector Arredondo totaled two RBIs, while Gabriel Dorsey and Zander Eastburn had one apiece.
Brandon Riehm had two of the Hurricanes’ three hits. Heston, who greeted Tadlock in the bottom of the first with a double down the right-field line, had the only other hit for Mount Dora.
The game was the Class 5A-District 6 opener for both teams.
South Sumter will host Mount Dora in a rematch at 7 p.m. Thursday in Bushnell.