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Shelia Mader

Shelia Mader

Sports Editor

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Optimist Park AAA wrap up

  • Published in Sports

The AAA fields were alive with the first full week of games last week.

 

Riverbandits take one from Scrappers

The Riverbandits played the Scrappers in AAA action and walked away with a close 7-5 win.

In the top of the first, Keyton Foster singled to get the Scrappers defense going. Foster stole second and moved to third on a single by Cooper Castleberry. Press Nolen drew a walk to load the bases for the Scrappers. Foster and Castleberry scored before three consecutive outs were made. Jason Stewart had a one-out single to get things going for the Riverbandits in the bottom of the frame. Luke Thomas reached safely with two outs before Landon Cornelius singled to score Stewart. Noah McCormick was issued a free pass. Thomas and Cornelius crossed the plate before the third out ended the inning. After one complete inning, the Riverbandits had a 3-2 lead. 

In the top of the second, Riley Farris had a leadoff single for the Scrappers. Farris moved to third, and with two outs, Rathan Barnes drew a walk. A strikeout left runners one the corners for the Scrappers. Kaden Johnson had a one-out single for the Riverbandits in their half of the inning. With two outs, Tyler Stevens singled and scored Johnson. Going into the third inning, the Riverbandits led 4-2.

The Scrappers went down one, two, three in the third. Jason Stewart was issued a one-out walk for the Riverbandits in the bottom of the third. With two outs, Luke Thomas tripled, but was left stranded at third when a strikeout ended the inning. 

The Scrappers were retired in order in the fourth. Landon Cornelius singled to get the Riverbandits defense started. Cornelius stole his way home before three consecutive outs ended the frame.  After four complete innings, the Riverbandits led 4-2.

In the fifth and final inning, back-to-back walks by Riley Farris and Braiden Chafin started things off for the Scrappers. With one out, Rathan Barnes doubled home Farris and Chafin. With two outs, Keyton Foster was issued a walk. Cooper Castleberry doubled to score Barnes for the Scrappers final run of the game. A one-out double by Teddy Skinner got the Riverbandits offense started. Skinner moved to second on a passed ball, followed by a single by Tyler Stevens. With two outs, Riley Adkison tripled home Skinner and Stevens to pick up the win for the Riverbandits. 

 

Rockhounds take 9-3 win over Riverbandits 

The Rockhounds faced the Riverbandits and picked up a 9-3 win in AAA action.

In the top of the first, walks to Mason Wood, Landen Gammons and Cody Byrd loaded the bases for the Rockhounds. Gage Neal scored Wood when he drew a walk to pick up a cheap RBI. Landon Barber’s single brought Gammons home and reloaded the bases. Makylan Menchion was issued a one-out walk that scored Cody Byrd. With two outs, Joshua Redmon walked in Neal to add an RBI to his stats. Aidan Byrd joined the cheap RBI parade when he also had a walk that scored Menchion, before a strikeout ending the inning. The Riverbandits were retired in order in their half of the frame. Going into the second inning, the Rockhounds had a 6-0 lead. 

Taylor Jernigan drew a walk to get things started for the Rockhounds in the second inning. With one out, Jernigan was out going for second. With two outs, Landen Gammons stood tough and took one for the team, but was out trying to steal second. Luke Thomas had a leadoff single for the Riverbandits in their half of the frame. Mason Lewis was issued a walk that moved Thomas to second. Lewis was out going to second. Thomas crossed the plate before back-to-back strikeouts ended the inning. After two complete innings, the Rockhounds led 6-1.

Cody Byrd got the crowd on their feet when he had a leadoff HOMERUN for the Rockhounds in the third. Gage Neal drew a walk, but was out on an attempted steal of second. Back-to-back strikeouts ended the inning for the Rockhounds. The only offense for the Riverbandits in the third was a one-out walk to Wyatt Oliver. Heading into the fourth inning, the Rockhounds led 7-1. 

With one out, Ethan Burt and Joshua Redmon were issued back-to-back walks for the Rockhounds in the top of the fourth. Aidan Byrd reached safely to load the bases for his team. With two outs, Taylor Jernigan drew a walk and scored Burt. Redmon scored before the final out was made. Riley Adkison had a leadoff single for the Riverbandits in the bottom of the inning. With one out, Landon Cornelius reached safely. Luke Thomas tripled home Adkison and Cornelius. Thomas was out on an attempted steal of home and with two outs, Mason Lewis was issued a free pass. A strikeout ended the inning and the game with the Rockhounds picking up the win. 

 

Rockhounds deal Redwings a loss

The Rockhounds took on the Redwings at Optimist Park and picked up the 9-4 win.

In the top of the first, Mason Wood, Landen Gammons and Cody Byrd drew walks to get things started for the Rockhounds. Wood was out on an attempted steal of home. With one out Landon Barber was issued a free pass to reload the bases for the Rockhounds. A walk to Gage Neal scored Gammons and added an RBI to his stats. Cody Byrd was out heading for home. With two outs, JoJo Saffold also drew a walk that brought Barber home. Ethan Burt picked a cheap RBI scoring Neal when he was issued a free pass by way of a walk before a strikeout ended the inning. A single By Aiden Smith was the only offense for the Redwings in the bottom of the first. Going into the second inning, the Rockhounds led 3-0.

With one out, Jaedon Nichols, Makylan Menchion and Aidan Byrd were all issued walks to load the bases for the Rockhounds in the second. With two outs, Mason Wood walked in Nichols for the first run of the inning. Landen Gammons was issued a walk that brought Menchion home. Cody Byrd doubled home Aidan Byrd and Mason Wood. Gammons crossed the plate before a strikeout ended the inning. In the bottom of the frame and with two outs, Branden Spooner reached on an error and stole second for the Riverbandits. A strikeout ended the inning with Spooner left stranded at second. After two complete innings, the Rockhounds led 8-0.

Gage Neal and JoJo Saffold were issued back-to-back walks to get the Rockhounds offense started in the third inning. With one out, Joshua Redmon took one for the team to load the bases. With two outs, Gage Neal was out trying to steal home. The Redwings were three up, three down in the third. 

With one out, Makylan Menchion reached on an error for the Rockhounds in the fourth. Mechion stole his way around the bases to score his team’s only run before back-to-back outs ended the inning. Cole Shelton was hit by a pitch to leadoff for the Redwings in the bottom of the fourth. With one out, Aiden Smith got the crowd on their feet when he had a two-run HOMERUN to pick up two RBIs. Back-to-back walks to Trenton Bragg and Eli Mercer put runners at first and second. Bragg stole his way home, with Bryce Mitchell singling home Mercer. Back-to-back strikeouts ended the game with the Rockhounds picking up the win. 

 

Rockhounds and Sneads battle on the diamond

The Rockhounds hosted Sneads in their first week of regular season ball and walked away with a 12-1 win.  Cody Byrd started on the mound for the Rockhounds, went one inning before giving way to Gage Neal who closed out the game. 

Hits were slim for the visiting Sneads team with A. J. Hamilton picking up the only hit of the game.  Donnie Green took one for the team to round out the Sneads offense.

For the Rockhounds Gage Neal, Landen Gammons, Aidan Byrd, Landon Barber, Cody Byrd and Jo Jo Saffold all reached base safely twice and scored two runs each. Scoring one run was Taylor Jernigan. Joshua Redmon reached safely in the first inning and made his way to third 

 

Rockhounds win over Riverbandits

After one week of play, it seems the Rockhounds are the team to beat. After winning earlier in the week, they made it two in a row for the regular season with a 9-2 win over the Riverbandits. Luke Thomas got the starting nod for the Riverbandits with Riley Adkison coming on to close out the game. For the Rockhounds, it was Landen Gammons going the distance and picking up the win.  

For the Riverbandits, it was Luke Thomas with two hits and one run scored, With Riley Adkison and Landon Cornelius both singling and scoring one run each. Mason Lewis had a single and a walk with Wyatt Oliver drawing a walk. 

For the Rockhounds, runs and hits were plentiful. Cody Byrd led the team with two hits and two runs scored, followed by Mason Wood, Landen Gammons, Gage Neal, Landon Barber, Makylan Menchion and Ethan Burke all reached base and scored a run. Gammons added another hit to his stats without scoring, while Joshua Redmon and Aiden Byrd had a pair of his each. Taylor Jernigan was issued a pair of walks on the night. 

Optimist Park AA wrap up

  • Published in Sports

Last week, the Optimist Park AA league started its first full week of games. The fields were bustling with players ready to take the field and show off what they continue to learn at practice.

 

Cubs take 8-3 win over Rays

The Cubs faced the Rays and picked up the 8-3 win. 

For the Rays in the first, Juelz Maldonado reached first safely. With one out, Jeb Basford got the crowd on their feet with a two-run HOMERUN! Back-to-back outs ended the inning for the Rays. In the Cubs half of the first, Gabe Adkins had a leadoff HOMERUN to get things going for his team. Beclan Charles doubled and scored on a triple by Kingston Bell. Josiah Rednour doubled home Bell for the Cubs last run of the inning. After one complete inning, the Cubs led 3-2.

The Rays went down one, two, three in the second inning. Charles Dickson had a leadoff single for the Cubs in the bottom of the frame. Caden Allen singled to move Charles Dickson to scoring position, but three consecutive outs left a pair of runners on base. 

In the third inning, the Rays were retired in order. With one out, Gabe Adkins had a single to get things going for the Cubs in their half of the third. Beclan Charles’ double brought Adkins home. With two outs, Kingston Bell tripled to score Charles.  Josiah Rednour brought the fans to their feet with a two-run HOMERUN! A strikeout ended the inning, with the Cubs leading 7-2.

A single by Jeb Basford was the only offense for the Rays in the top of the fourth. Ja’Marcus Sims doubled to leadoff the bottom of the fourth of the Cubs. Sims scored before three consecutive outs ended the inning. 

In the top of the fifth, Myles Tolin had a leadoff HOMERUN for the Rays. With two outs, Thadius Myrick doubled but was left on the bag when the third out ended the inning. in the bottom of the frame, the Cubs went down in order. 

 

Rays take 9-6 win over Sneads Indians

The Optimist Park Rays welcomed the Sneads Indians last week and picked up a 9-6 win. 

In the top of the first, Brody Ragans doubled for the Indians only offense of the inning. Three consecutive outs left him stranded at second. Juelz Maldonado got the crowd on their feet when he hit a leadoff HOMERUN for the Rays. Three straight strikeouts ended the inning, with the Rays leading 1-0.

The Indians went down in order in the top of the second. In the bottom of the frame, Thadius Myrick singled for the Rays, but three strikeouts left him stranded at first. 

A double by Brayden Subel was the Sneads Indians only offense of the third. With two outs, Carter Hughes had a single to get things started for the Rays. Juelz Maldonado singled, with Trace Johnson following with a single to bring Hughes home. Jeb Basford doubled and brought Maldonado home. Myles Tolin followed suit with a double of his own that scored Johnson. Thadius Myrick’s single scored Basford, with Evan Jones scoring Tolin on a single. Grayson Tharp doubled to score Myrick for the Indians final run of the inning. Going into the fourth inning, the Rays had a 7-0 lead. 

In the fourth, Spencer Lewis tripled to get things started for Sneads. With two outs, Matthew Rabon singled and scored Lewis. Weston Anderson reached and scored Rabon, with Anderson scoring before the final out ended the inning. With one out, Brantley Basford singled to get things going for the Rays. Carter Hughes followed suit with a single of his own. With two outs, Trace Johnson singled home Brantley Basford. Jeb Basford singled and scored Hughes for the Rays final run of the game. After four complete innings, the rays led 9-3.

For Sneads, Tucker Wilkinson had a leadoff single in the top of the fifth. Jakobi Highsmith doubled and scored Wilkinson. Cooper Wester tripled home Jakobi Highsmith and with two outs, Tracen Anderson singled to score Highsmith. A strikeout ended the game, with the Rays taking the win. 

 

Angels shutout Sneads Cyclones

The Angels of Optimist Park hosted the Sneads Cyclones last week and shut them out 5-0.

The Cyclones went down in order in the top of the first. For the Angels, Graham Milton led off with a HOMERUN! With one out, Beau Swearingen singled to put a runner back on base for his team. With two outs, Joshua White singled to move Swearingen into scoring position. Ayden Brown’s been watching big sister Amari and took notes when he doubled home Swearingen for the Angels final run of the inning. After one complete inning, the Angels led 2-0.

For Sneads, Poythress had a one-out single to get things started in the top of the second. With two outs, Sourbeck had a double, but a third out left runners and second and third. The Angels were retired one, two, three in the bottom of the inning. 

A two-out single by Conrad was the only offense for the Cyclones in the third. The Angels were three up, three down in their half of the frame. 

It was a one, two, three inning for Sneads in the fourth. With one out, Gage Bragan singled to get his team’s offense started. Beau Swearingen tripled and scored Bragan to add an RBI to his stats. Blake Flowers cleared the bases with a TWO-RUN HOMERUN! With two outs, Ayden Brown singled, followed by a double by Sam Bryan. A strikeout ended the inning, with runners left on the bags. Going into the fifth, the Angels led 5-0.

In the fifth inning, the Cyclones remained scoreless. Brody Burch had a leadoff single for the Angels in the bottom of the frame. With one out, Grayson Arnette had a single, but back-to-back strikeouts ended the inning. 

Sneads went down in order in the sixth and final inning.

Florida Caverns receives trees from Southern Craft Creamery

Southern Craft Creamery celebrated earth day in grand fashion.  Southern Craft is a huge supporter of the Florida Caverns State Park and were as devastated as everyone about the damage caused to the park by Hurricane Michael. Prior to Michael’s arrival, Southern Craft was already a supporter of the Caverns as 100% of the tips received at the Creamery is donated to Friends of the Florida Caverns.

This week, the Caverns received a host of young trees from these donations.  Friends showed with shovels and all the works to get them properly planted in the ground so the new look can commence. 

Jackson County is truly blessed to have businesses and individuals going the extra mile to put our county back together after Hurricane Michael.  Shout out to Southern Craft Creamery for a job well done from the publisher and staff of the Jackson County Times.

Governor Ron DeSantis Requests Increased Federal Cost Share for Hurricane Michael Recovery

Following Hurricane Michael Upgrade to a Category 5 Storm 

On Friday, April 19th, Governor Ron DeSantis sent a letter to President Donald Trump requesting an increase in the federal cost share from 75 percent to 90 percent for the remainder of Hurricane Michael recovery. This request follows the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s announcement that Hurricane Michael has been upgraded to a Category 5 hurricane – only the fourth Category 5 storm to ever impact the United States and the first to impact Florida as a Category 5 since Hurricane Andrew in 1992.

“I am officially requesting an increase in federal funding for Hurricane Michael recovery from 75 to 90 percent,” said Governor DeSantis. “Since my first full day in office when I visited Northwest Florida, it was clear that the efforts to rebuild and recover were far from over. An increase in the federal share will help Northwest Florida tremendously and I thank President Trump for his previous commitment to fully fund the first 45 days of recovery from this storm. I look forward to continuing to work with the President to ensure Northwest Florida completely recovers.”

“At the Division of Emergency Management, we recognized the devastation this storm caused and took action in January by putting in place new processes and procedures to get funding out as quickly as possible,” said FDEM Director Jared Moskowitz. “I applaud Governor DeSantis for providing leadership and requesting 90 percent federal funding on the same day that Hurricane Michael was upgraded to a Category 5. This increase in federal funding will provide critical savings to Panhandle communities during their recovery.”

The President has the authority to issue a waiver and increase the federal cost share for hurricane recovery from the standard 75 percent to 90 percent prior to costs reaching the 90 percent threshold. With the recent upgrade of Hurricane Michael to a Category 5, as well as the tremendous amount of debris removal performed since the storm’s impact, the state estimates that this threshold will be met in the future. This change in the federal cost share would save the state and Northwest Florida communities hundreds of millions of dollars.

In January, Governor DeSantis announced that President Donald Trump granted his request for 45 days of 100% federal cost share for Hurricane Michael debris removal and emergency protective measures. Prior to Governor DeSantis securing this commitment, the federal government had only granted five days of 100% cost share. These additional 40 days saved the state and Northwest Florida almost half a billion dollars.

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