ALACHUA — Standing just three outs from advancing to a Class 5A regional championship game, Tavares couldn’t seal the deal on Tuesday night as Alachua Santa Fe rallied for four runs in the bottom of the seventh for a 5-4 win.
Tavares (20-10) held a 4-1 lead going into Santa Fe’s final at-bat on the strength of a four-run fourth inning.
For six innings, Tavares starter Tyler Snow dealt, giving up a single hit against nine strikeouts. As the game wore on, however, the senior’s control started to slip: he conceded a walk in each of his last three innings.
After walking first baseman Aidan D’Agostino to start the final frame, Snow was pulled in favor of right-hander Jack Grice.
And the Raiders capitalized. D’Agostino and catcher John Rechsteiner found their way home to trim the deficit to one.
Standing in the batter’s box with two outs, freshman Ryan Brown — sitting on a pair of strikeouts — earned a walk. One batter later, shortstop Dave Mitchum ripped a line drive straight back at Grice.
With the winning run on second base, sophomore Jacob Deason hit another liner back toward the pitcher, driving Brown in from third before an errant throw gifted Mitchum the game-winner.