By FRANCIS FEDOR
Sumner baseball continues to look for that break that will change its luck, but the team continued to struggle, losing 7-0 at Durant (16-3) and dropping a Saturday early morning start 10-0 to Strawberry Crest (14-6) at home. The team has faced a number of top-tier opponents down the stretch and head coach Kennedy Duran will use these experiences to help the young team to take away the positives from each outing and focus on growing as a team.
The Stingrays find themselves in the same scenario as they did in 2022. They struggled as the season wound to a close, losing four in a row before ending the season with a win vs. Armwood at home and found magic in the playoffs, winning three in a row before falling to Seminole at home. They will have hosted the Hawks April 25, before this edition hits the street, hoping for the same outcome. The ‘Rays opened the week with the loss to Durant. The offense was held to three hits with seniors Isaac Martinez and Manny Ramos trying to spark some offense. Junior Avery Charland took the loss, giving up two earned runs and striking out three in four innings of work.
The Stingrays returned home for a rare Saturday morning contest to face Strawberry Crest, another in a string of late season top teams on the Sumner schedule. The Chargers feature two players who are getting eyeballs from major league scouts, seniors Arjun Nimmala (FSU commit) and Alexander Philpott (UFlorida). Arjun contributed a HR and Alextossed three shutout innings with 6 K’s. The ’Rays offense was held to a single by sophomore Luke Parson, and three others worked a walk to try to spark the offense. Stingray junior Landon Wilder got the nod to start and had the tall task of holding the Charger offense in check. Landon struggled with control and walked five in an eight-run first inning against a lineup that drew scouts to Sumner for the game. Highlights included Junior Gavin Albritton throwing three innings of scoreless baseball as he continues his strong season, and the infield executed an exciting triple play on a sharply hit ball to the shortstop. The Stingrays will close out the regular season at home (Senior Night) vs. Armwood (12-8) on Tuesday and finish up on the road against Middleton (1-18) on Thursday, April 27, with the task of building momentum heading into district playoffs.
Stingray softball continues to roll, winning six of its last seven. These players have been road warriors, playing their last four games on the road. They opened the week on Tuesday at Armwood with a 14-0 win, scoring seven first-inning runs enroute to a run-ruled five-inning shutout. Sophomore Jaelyn Joiner paced the winners, going 3-3 with three doubles. Seniors Alyssa Vallad, Megan deVilliers and Savana Robnett combined for seven hits and 10 RBI’s. Three Stingray pitchers collaborated on the shutout. The ’Rays then traveled to Lennard and departed with a 9-1 win over the Longhorns. They look to improve on their 15-4 record, facing Brandon at home and Berkeley Prep on the road to close out the season and look ahead to district playoffs where they may have to face Plant and Steinbrenner whom they have not been able to solve.