The Live Oak 13-Prep All Stars traveled to Union County to compete in the district tournament June 27-29. A black cloud seemed to hang over Lake Butler the entire weekend. It produced a lot of rain and lightning which led to many rain delays.
Suwannee's first game was on Friday night against the Wakulla All-Stars. Ty Smith started on the mound for Suwannee. He was on his game, giving up only two runs in five solid innings. Lee Radford came in to close out the final two innings allowing one run to make it a three-run total for Wakulla.
The Suwannee batters had a great game scoring 10 runs to win. Three of the runs were scored by lead-off hitter Jordan Budwick, three by first-baseman Michael Staley, two by Marcus Smith and one each by Ty Smith and Jon Hill.
Ty Smith led the hitting attack for Suwannee going 3 for 3 with a double. Budwick was next going 2 for 3 with a double. Radford, Dustin Gardner, Jon Hill and Marcus Smith each had singles.
On Saturday, Suwannee was matched against the home team from Union County. This team had defeated Perry on Friday night. The game got started at 1 p.m. on Saturday but did not finish until 11:30 a.m. on Sunday. Hard rains hit the ball field at the most inopportune times making it a tough situation for Suwannee's All-Stars.
When the game was finally completed, Union County had knocked Suwannee into the losers-bracket. Suwannee lost by only one run in the long-drawn-out game 8-9. Leading the way for Suwannee once again were Smith and Budwick. Each garnered two hits in the "two-day" game. Dustin Gardner and Marcus Smith also had a hit for Suwannee.
Within a half hour of finishing their marathon game, Suwannee had to turn around and play a rested, fresh Wakulla team. They put up a great fight under the circumstances but eventually lost in a close contest 7-9.
Suwannee's short stop Justin Budwick was hot again on the bat going 4 for 4 with two sharply hit doubles. Pitcher Lee Radford and Marcus Smith also got hits for Suwannee.
On the defensive side of the game, left fielder Marcus Smith made a sliding circus catch to end a sixth-inning rally by Wakulla.
Host Union County went on to defeat Wakulla in the championship game which was held right after the Wakulla/Suwannee game. It seemed like everything fell into place for Lake Butler to advance to the state tournament in Perry.
The Suwannee 13-prep All-Stars will go back into action again on Aug. 9-10 at Diamond Sports Park in Gainesville. If you like watching good baseball come out and be a part of the future of Suwannee baseball.