High school baseball ‘23: BK, Columbia, Providence headed to state semifinals

(Al Bello/Getty Images)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Bishop Kenny, Columbia and Providence are joining St. Johns Country Day in the high school baseball state semifinals in Fort Myers.

The Crusaders got a two-out RBI single from Trey Seeker in the top of the seventh to beat host Baker County 3-2 in a weather-delayed Region 1-4A final. One round after throwing 6.2 innings of no-hit ball, Ben Monger threw a complete game for Kenny, whiffed seven and allowed just four hits.

It trailed 2-0 in the game before scoring the final three to advance to Friday’s Class 4A state semifinal at Hammond Stadium. The Crusaders (18-10) will face Tampa Jefferson at 4 p.m.

Columbia bounced top-seeded Clay 7-1 in the Region 1-5A final. Josh Fernald followed his unforgettable second-round game against Lincoln with a complete game on the mound. He whiffed 11 in the game. Ayden Phillips added a seventh-inning grand slam for Columbia. Fernald had a walk-off grand slam against Lincoln to deliver Columbia that win. Elijah Roberts struck out eight batters and Merrick Rapoza whiffed four for the Blue Devils.

Providence and coach Tommy Boss are headed to the state semifinals after a tight 4-3 win over Ocala Trinity Catholic in Region 1-3A. The Stallions trailed 3-2 entering the bottom half of the sixth before pushing two runs across, including the eventual winner by Ben Barrow for the win. Mason Wortmann had two hits for Providence. Brett Dennis worked 3.2 innings of one-hit relief for the win.

Boss, in his first season as the Stallions’ head coach, now takes Providence to the state final four for the first time since 2016. The Stallions lost to Bishop Verot in that final four game. Providence (25-4) will face Clearwater Calvary Christian (26-4) on Friday at 10 a.m.

St. Johns Country Day (25-4) beat Tallahassee North Florida Christian 10-5 a night earlier in the Region 1-2A final to punch its ticket to the state semifinals in Fort Myers. The Spartans will face Westminster Academy in the state semifinals on Thursday at 1 p.m.

Regional finals

Monday’s result

Region 1-2A

(1) St. Johns Country Day 10, (2) Tallahassee North Florida Christian 5

Tuesday’s results

Region 1-5A

(2) Columbia 7, (1) Clay 1

Region 1-4A

(5) Bishop Kenny 3, (2) Baker County 2

Region 1-3A

(1) Providence 4, (6) Trinity Catholic 3

State semifinals

Hammond Stadium, Fort Myers

Thursday’s game

Class 2A

St. Johns Country Day (25-4) vs. Westminster Academy (16-9-1)

Friday’s games

Class 5A

Bishop Kenny (18-10) vs. Tampa Jefferson (20-7), 4 p.m.

Class 3A

Providence (25-4) vs. Clearwater Calvary Christian (26-4), 10 a.m.

Monday, May 22

Class 5A

Columbia (24-5) vs. Plantation American Heritage (19-6), 10 a.m.

About the Author:

Justin Barney joined News4Jax in February 2019, but he’s been covering sports on the First Coast for more than 20 years.