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1A-8 Playoff Preview: Glades Day Looking To Dominate 1A

Glades Day shifted down to 1A this season and is on top of District 8 heading into the playoffs.

Because of the state playoff ranking system, it’s likely that only one team from this district makes it to regionals, so winning the championship is a must this week.

Let’s take a look at each team’s prospects.

1A-8 District Playoff Schedule

Location: Higher seed will host; Finals at Wildwood

Semifinals – Tuesday (5/2)

No. 1 Glades Day School vs. No. 4 Wildwood @ 4:30 p.m.

No. 2 Williston vs. No. 3 Bronson @ 7:00 p.m.

Finals – Thursday (5/4)

Winner (Glades Day-Wildwood) vs. Winner (Williston-Bronson) @ 7:00 p.m.

Bronson – Team Page

The Eagles finished just below the .500 mark against a favorable schedule, which means that they are the No. 3 seed heading into the playoffs.

Bronson has three batters hitting above .400, and David Runion has put together an impressive 26-hit season. On the mound, sophomore Peyton Lake gets plenty of opportunities, but it’s Runion who leads the team in strikeouts with 37 over 23 frames.

Avenging a regular-season loss to Williston is the goal this week, but a 12-2 score last time around might be too big of a gap to close in under a month.

Glades Day School – Team Page

The Gators entered the season confident after moving into 1A, and a 14-7 finish to the regular season has them on top of the district. Winning the district championship is imperative, though. Without a title, Glades Day might not qualify for the regional tournament.

Marquis Clarke is leading the team with 27 hits and the same amount of runs batted in. Jadin Herrera is also past the 20-hit threshold, Blake Barnes should get there during the playoffs and Adrian Baeza is at 15 but is an on-base machine with 17 walks and a .557 OBP. Clarke and Herrera have also done good work on the mound. Clarke leads the team with 43 strikeouts through 19.2 innings and Herrera has 39 through 24.1 frames. Frankie Barnes has the most inning of any pitcher on the team with 29 through nine appearances (five starts).

Glades Day expects to come out on top of this tournament and then make noise in regionals. Everything seems to point in favor of a Gators district championship, but the other teams are unfamiliar and that could create challenges. Let’s see what the Gators can do!

Wildwood – Team Page

The Wildcats are at the bottom of 1A-8 after finishing 6-7 against a favorable schedule.

Kiwanis Cope leads the team with 15 hits and a .441 batting average, while Landon Hogan and Rishard Edwards split the bulk of the innings on the mound. Hogan gets plenty of strikeouts and has a 4.72 ERA on the year, but that’s the lowest number of any pitcher on the staff.

Upsetting Glades Day will be difficult for Wildwood. The Gators might hit too well for the Wildcats to keep up with.

Williston  – Team Page

The Red Devils won the state championship in 2019 but haven’t claimed a district title since. Williston enters the 2023 playoffs confident that it can beat Bronson in the semifinals after a 12-2 regular season win, and then it’s on to the winner of Glades Day and Wildwood.

Hunter Bullock leads the team with 29 hits, and Trace Clemenzi is close behind with 24 base knocks and a team-high 23 runs batted in. Breeden Clemenzi is also having a standout year with 22 hits as a sophomore. On the mound, Bullock is the team leader in innings pitched with 36.2 but his ERA is elevated. Most of the staff has trouble keeping runs from scoring, so it will be up to the offense to keep pace.

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