Eustis defeats Lake Minneola, 6-1

MINNEOLA — Teams always want to play their best when games matter most.

And the Eustis High School baseball team seems to be hitting its peak at just the right time.

Kyler Cots allowed three hits in an all-game effort, while Eli Silver had two doubles and two RBIs Thursday in a 6-1 win over Lake Minneola at Hawks Field. The win avenged a 9-2 loss to the Hawks in February.

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Eli Silver (17) of Eustis hits one of his two doubles in Thursday's game against Lake Minneola in Minneola.  The Panthers beat Lake Minneola 6-1. [PAUL RYAN / CORRESPONDENT]

With the win, Eustis’ sixth in its last seven games, the Panthers improved to 12-11 this season, while Lake Minneola fell to 15-5.

“It was a big game for us and for Kyler,” Eustis coach Matt Burgess said. “He’s stepping up right now and we think he’s capable of winning every time we put him out there. Our guys fought hard tonight and took what they were given.

“We have improved so much over the season.”

Round four was the turning point

Eustis opened the game 1-1 with three points in the fourth. Cut Gatch and Cots had singles, while Silver, Ryan Crow, Ledger Pleasant, Paxxton Hack and JR Radcliffe strolled.

Eustis catcher Ryan Crow (22) hugs pitcher Kyler Cots (3) after Thursday's win over Lake Minneola in Minneola. [PAUL RYAN / CORRESPONDENT]

Gatch single tackle from Cots and a sacrificial fly right from Brock Cartin scored a point. The Panthers’ last run in the inning came when Radcliffe worked on Lake Minneola reliever Zack Colangelo for a goal-laden walk.

The Panthers added two more runs in the sixth when Silver smashed his second brace of the game – down the left field line – scoring Radcliffe and TJ Glover.

Kyler Cots had a masterful game

That was more than enough runtime support for Cots. The right-hander’s only hitch was a pitching error on a second-inning putout attempt that allowed Sam Rice to score the Hawks’ lone run.

He more than made up for that mistake by picking three base runners first to snuff out potential rallies.

Cots walked three and struck out seven. He improved to 4-3 this season and lowered his ERA to 2.62.

High school baseball: Lake Minneola straddles pitch, defense overtakes Tavares

Lake Minneola starting pitcher Eddie Camolilla suffered the loss. He struggled with the strike zone, walking five in 2 ⅓ innings, while striking out six.

Zack Colangelo, who came on for Camolilla in the third, walked three times in the 1⅓ of an inning. Zack Walsh went the last 2⅓ innings and allowed two runs on four hits.

For the Panthers, Silver led the way with two hits and finished with five total goals. Hack, Radcliffe Crow, and Pleasant, like Silver, reached base three times.

Anticipate team schedules

Lake Minneola was scheduled to play Orlando First Academy on Friday, April 22, and will host Ocoee at 7 p.m. Monday. The Hawks will then end the regular season on Thursday against Altamonte Springs Lake Brantley.

Eustis was scheduled to face Orange City University on Friday, April 22, and will close its regular season at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday against Mount Dora Christian Academy at Shane Hunton Memorial Field.

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