Tigers finish season 23-8

Published: Thursday, May 22, 2014 at 10:15 AM.

FORT MYERS — The Rural classification continued to be fruitful for smaller schools on Tuesday. That is, fruitful to schools not from the Panhandle.

Trent Johnson had 10 strikeouts in a two-hitter and started a fifth-inning rally with a single, as Williston defeated Chipley 4-0 for the Class 1A state baseball title at JetBlue Park in Fort Myers. The Tigers finished 23-8 and short in their bid for a first state title in baseball. Williston, located 30 minutes southwest of Gainesville, finished 25-4 and won its first title since 1923.

Chipley matched Holmes County as state runner-up in the three seasons of the new 1A classification created to give smaller schools a better opportunity. The area has seen Rural titles in all other sports, boys and girls basketball, volleyball and softball, but none so far in baseball.

The Tigers squandered their best chance in the fourth when Daniel Floyd singled, Williston committed one of its two errors and Logan Justice drew a walk to load the bases with no outs. Johnson (10-2) stiffened and induced a fly out by Andrew King for the first out.

Colby Wiggins opened the next at-bat with two quick strikes but worked the count full. Wiggins started to trot to first base when the umpire made a late call for the third strike. Nolan Spencer struck out on a 2-2 pitch to end the inning.

Williston broke through in the fifth against three Chipley pitchers. Starting and losing pitcher Jordan Finch (6-3) exited after a Haydn Cano bunt single to lead off the frame. Cameron Coffey singled off reliever Shelby Savell, who was then replaced by Dallas Oliver.

An Oliver wild pitch moved runners up to second and third. Johnson singled in the first two runs of the game on the next at-bat. The Red Devils added two more runs on grounders

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