Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

High School Baseball Roundup; Creekside's Barrington Comes Up Big

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

High School Baseball Roundup; Creekside's Barrington Comes Up Big

Article excerpt

Byline: Justin Barney

Matt Barrington's big game baseball experiences were limited before Tuesday night.

Not anymore.

Barrington, a junior at Creekside, went 5 2/3 innings of scoreless relief and added a big swing at the plate in decisive third inning as the Knights ousted Clay 8-4 in the Region 2-5A semifinals on Tuesday night. Creekside (19-9) advances to face Hernando in Friday's regional finals.

Barrington, a junior with very little big game experience, struck out nine and held the big bats of the Blue Devils in check. He also went 3 for 3 at the plate and ripped a two- double in the third that wound up as the winning runs. Run.

Not bad for the No. 8 hitter in the lineup and a guy who wasn't planning on pitching this deep in the postseason, much less against Clay (21-7), a state semifinalist last year.

"To be honest, no I didn't [expect to be pitching]," Barrington said. "This is the first time I've thrown against them. Yeah, I am kind of shocked."

Big games against Clay were often reserved for ace Tyler Wills, who beat the Blue Devils for the district title two weeks ago. Wills pitched four innings in Monday's regional quarterfinal win over Palatka and was a surprise starter against Clay. But the Blue Devils chased Wills after just 1 1/3 innings and a 4-0 lead.

Cue Barrington, who said that he'd pitched in quite a few games in his three years with the program, just mainly against "the teams we were supposed to beat."

Barrington got out of tight spots with runners in scoring position in the third, fourth and sixth innings and got even better as the game wore on.

"He singlehandedly kept us in this game," said Creekside coach Luke Marabell. "Unbelievable. You're down 4-0 and obviously the history with Clay. I told the guys just inch along, get some guys on base and do some damage."

The Knights made amends quickly. …

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