Chris Bernhardt Jr.

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A resident of Spring Hill since 1986, Chris graduated from Springstead High in 1999 before moving on to earn a bachelor's degree in journalism at the University of Central Florida. In summer of 2003 he joined the staff at Hernando Today, working at the paper for 11 years as a sports reporter, the last three as sports coordinator in charge of the paper's sports coverage. For live updates follow on twitter @cpbernhardtjr.

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Down on the farm

Photos provided

San Francisco Giants prospect Christian Arroyo playing with the Triple-A Sacramento River Cats. Photo by Ralph Thompson/Sacramento River Cats

NOTE: Three 2013 Hernando County graduates, Hernando High’s Christian Arroyo (San Francisco Giants) and Brandon Lawson (Tampa Bay Rays), and Springstead’s Brandon Brosher (New York Mets), are currently playing professional baseball, working their way up through the minor leagues within their respective organizations. Hernando Sun will track their progress weekly throughout the next few months.

HYL Angels garner surprise state spot

Photography by Cheryl Clanton

HYL Angels pitcher Arreon Roberts goes through her wind-up against West Pasco on June 18. Photo by Cheryl Clanton

As the Hernando Youth League Angels (age 9-10) All-Stars lined up for the trophy presentation at Tom Varn Park two weeks ago, head coach Billy Williams said they all assumed their run was over.
HYL had just lost 4-1 to West Pasco on June 19, concluding the District 4 Tournaments that had been held there over the previous three days, and as a runner-up would not be moving on to states.

Local youth bowler wins state tourney

Photo provided

LeAnn Militscher won the Florida Pepsi Youth Championships in Winter Haven in April with a six-game series of 1,394. Photo provided

Since the age of 5, LeAnn Militscher has been a bowler, and for as long as she can remember she was spending time at a bowling alley.
At 16, the Weeki Wachee High senior has already risen to a 204 average and recently added a state championship to her resume. Militscher finished first in the U20 Girls division in the Florida Pepsi Youth Championships at Cypress Lanes in Winter Haven.

Down on the farm

Photos provided

Hernando High graduate Christian Arroyo at the plate for the Sacramento River Cats. Photo by Ralph Thompson/Sacramento River Cats

NOTE: Three 2013 Hernando County graduates, Hernando High’s Christian Arroyo (San Francisco Giants) and Brandon Lawson (Tampa Bay Rays), and Springstead’s Brandon Brosher (New York Mets), are currently playing professional baseball, working their way up through the minor leagues within their respective organizations. Hernando Sun will track their progress weekly throughout the next few months.
Former first-round draft pick Christian Arroyo was sent down to the Triple-A Sacramento River Cats earlier this month, as the Giants hoped to get the 22-year-old more regular playing time.

Spring Hill Minors take title in blowout

Photography by Cheryl Clanton

Spring Hill American White coaches and players come together for a quick chat during Friday's championship game. Photo by Cheryl Clanton

SPRING HILL – It took until the 11th inning for Spring Hill American White and South Sumter to score a run on a soggy Thursday night.
One batter into Friday’s rematch, a winner-take-all championship game in the Dixie Baseball AAA Minors (ages 9-10) All-Stars District 6 Tournament at Anderson Snow Sports Complex, the scoring began and rarely stopped, particularly on the home side.
This time SH American White, having won 2-0 the previous evening to extend the double-elimination tournament, needed only 3 ½ frames to dust South Sumter by mercy rule, 17-4.

After monsoon, Spring Hill Minors win marathon

Photography by Cheryl Clanton

Spring Hill American White pitcher Dalton Williams throws to the plate Thursday night against South Sumter. Photo by Cheryl Clanton

SPRING HILL – As volunteers put the finishing touches on a cleaned-up field at the end of a near 2 ½-hour rain delay Thursday night, the radar indicated more rough weather was on the way at Anderson Snow Sports Complex.
But with just 3 ½ innings left to complete in the potential final game of the Dixie Baseball AAA Minors (age 9-10) All-Stars District 6 Tournament, an hour window seemed like enough.

Keeping up with the Arroyos

AP photos

Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Bronson Arroyo throws against the St. Louis Cardinals during the first inning of a game June 7 in Cincinnati. AP Photo/Gary Landers

NOTE: Hernando High graduates Bronson Arroyo (Class of 1995) and Christian Arroyo (Class of 2013) aren’t related, but they’ve both played Major League Baseball this summer. Hernando Sun will track their progress weekly throughout the next few months.
Bronson Arroyo made two starts this past week, and struggled in his outing last Monday at San Diego, taking the loss as his Cincinnati Reds fell, 9-3. The 40-year-old right-hander lasted 4 2/3 innings, giving up nine earned runs on 13 hits, walking none while striking out two. He hit one batter, and threw 90 pitches, 57 for strikes.

Brooksville T-Ball team goes 1-2

Hernando County had just one entrant into this year’s Dixie T-Ball (age 5-6) All-Stars District 6 Tournament, taking place in Wildwood starting last Saturday and going on this past week.
The Hernando Youth League Brooksville branch sent a squad that finished 1-2, an improvement from recent seasons when Brooksville has typically gone winless in the double-elimination event.
On Saturday, the tournament got underway and the local crew suffered a 38-8 loss to South Sumter. The next day, though, was a much different story.

Ridge Manor Majors make history

Photography by Cheryl Clanton

Ridge Manor pitcher Bryce Saltsman throws to the plate in Thursday's district title game against South Sumter. Photo by Cheryl Clanton

RIDGE MANOR – Throughout its history, Ridge Manor Dixie Baseball has struggled to overcome the obstacles that plague such a small program.
That’s why even in losing the AAA Majors (age 11-12) All-Stars District 6 Tournament final on Thursday night at Ridge Manor Community Park, 19-0 in three innings against a loaded South Sumter squad, the host team had plenty to celebrate.
As the district runner-up, this Ridge Manor team became the first in league history to earn its way to a state tournament. All previous state appearances came via automatic berths.

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