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High school baseball regional finals: Clay, Creekside after Final Four berths

Posted: May 13, 2014 - 2:49pm  |  Updated: May 13, 2014 - 2:53pm

A glance at Tuesday’s high school baseball regional finals. Games begin at 7 p.m. unless indicated.

REGION 1-6A

Creekside (25-4) at Pensacola Escambia (17-11), 8 p.m.: The Knights are in the regional finals for the second consecutive season, fielding the deepest team in program history. The pitching staff has been the area’s deepest, with four hurlers at five wins or more. Ace Matt Weidenbach (7-0) will start Tuesday. Offensively, Creekside has knocked the ball around as good as it has in years. During its state semifinal run in 2013, only one Knights player was batting over .300. Five are over that mark this year, including Taylor Westbrook. He’s at .438, more than 200 points higher than last season.

“We definitely had high expectations this year,” Knights coach Luke Marabell said. “I think we took a little different approach, spread the innings out. [At the plate] we just really wanted to reduce our strikeouts, put the ball in play. We’re really still a small-ball team.”

The winner will face either Pembroke Pines Charter or Mater Academy in the state semifinals on May 21 in Fort Myers.

REGION 1-5A

Lynn Haven Mosley (26-3) at Clay (21-7): The Blue Devils knocked out defending state champ Ponte Vedra to set up a showdown with the Dolphins, the seventh-ranked team in the country in the MaxPreps XCellent 25 poll.

The scheduling break has been kind to Class 5A and 6A programs, allowing those teams to throw their No. 1s three times in regional play. That means Andy Toelken (9-4) will face Mosley and he’ll be fresh. He threw just 72 pitches in the win over Ponte Vedra. If the Blue Devils advance, it will mark their second state semifinal berth in three seasons.

“I’m very excited, again, this is a wonderful senior group,” said Clay coach Rob Thompson, who is retiring following the season. “Nine seniors who’ll be graduating, it’s nice for them, and it’s also nice for me since I’m going out as well. I’m extremely excited about having one more home game before it’s over.” The winner will face either Archbishop McCarthy or Rockledge in the state semifinals on May 21.