Bozeman and Holmes win State Semifinals, set for title game showdown Thursday
PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) -The Bozeman Bucks and Holmes Blue Devils are set to meet in the 1A State Championship game Thursday night, with the winner claiming the title for the first time ever.
Bozeman took care of Dixie in its semifinal game Wednesday, doing it in comeback fashion, 8-4. After the Bucks, with some sloppy play, spotted the Bears a 4-0 lead through the first four innings, the Bucks bats came alive. They scored two on a Byron McLain double. Then in the 6th they scored six times, with Conner Smith and Brody Langlotz each with RBI hits. Then McLain a two RBI triple. The other two runs coming on an infield error and a passed ball. The 8-4 win puts the Bucks in the title game for the first time in program history.
“Really I mean it’s just staying focused.” Bucks starting pitcher Jeremy Todd told us afterwards. “I pitched in a couple of really big games this year. Against really good teams that could hit, and it’s just been the attitude all year, just keep making pitches. Keep doing what I can do to help the team win. And we found a way to win it late.”
”Early he had a couple of tough breaks, and they were doing a really good job.” Bozeman head coach Jeff Patton said. “It’s a testament to the adjustment Jeremy made on the mound. Some different pitches we were throwing, different locations. It’s a testament to the kind of pitcher that he is on the mound that he can make those on-plate and in-game adjustments when things aren’t going well. That was really the difference in the game to me because we had to adjust when they were doing a really good job of fighting off pitches and putting the ball in play against them, so we had to make some adjustments. And when we made a course correction, Jeremy did a really good job of just throwing the pitches where they needed to be thrown on those adjustments.”
Said Langlotz who scored twice in the late inning rallies “Well, I mean I go in with the mindset of going into the game like it’s not over til it’s over, and I knew my guys needed me to step up big time after those two first at bats, so I went in there and just tried to put one in to play, and it ended up working out for us.”
As for Holmes, it never trailed in the 4-1 semifinal win over Fort White. Sophomore starter Landon Lumpkin kept the Indians off the board in the early going, and his offense got untracked in the third. Braydon Young’s sacrifice fly to right scored the game’s first run, Jacob Riley crossing on that. In the 4th the Devils scored three more on RBI singles by Lumpkin, Nate Conner and Colby Jones. Lumpkin went on to toss six innings of one run baseball, Jones closed it out in the 7th, and the Blue Devils were bound for their third title game appearance, in the hopes of that elusive first state championship. All that after losing in the state semi’s last May.
“You know, we took it easy before the game in pre-game,” says Holmes head coach Jeromy Powell “and last year we were standing around running around in our uniforms. I told the guys after we got our pictures made to just get back in our shorts and shirts. We were just going to go out there and throw around a little bit. We went and hit a little bit this morning and then came out there and they didn’t take but about ten cuts on the field. They were real relaxed. You could tell. They had the music going on on the bus before we walked out here. And it was one of them deals, they know what’s at stake.”
Senior shortstop and pitcher Colby Jones said “I’m feeling good. You know. like i said not satisfied. This community deserves a trophy and a state title to come home and we are going try our hardest to get it.”
The Championship game Thursday night set for 7 eastern, and we will have pre-game coverage, highlights and post game reaction at 5, 6 and 10.
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