The first two meetings this season between the Legacy Charter Eagles and the Foundation Academy Lions — regular season matchups back in mid-March — were split between the district rivals.
They also weren't particularly close.
First, Legacy racked up 15 runs in a 15-3 win over Foundation March 13. Three days later, the Lions limited the Eagles to just one run in a 9-1 victory.
This fact was not lost on Legacy head coach Jack Chambless who, at one point during the teams' third and final showdown, mused that it would be fitting for the game to go to extra-innings.
Of course it did just that, as it took nine innings for the Eagles and Lions to settle their game in the opening round of the FHSAA Class 3A, District 3 Tournament at Lake Mary Prep, with Legacy winning 4-3 on a walk-off walk in the bottom of the ninth.
After trailing twice during the game May 1, the Eagles (16-10) made a little bit of program history and prolonged their season with a big win.
"This is our first district (tournament) win," Chambless said. "Twice this season ... we've had to come back in almost identical situations — they maintained their composure, they supported one another and they kept believing that, ultimately, they were going to pull off the win."
Legacy first fell behind in the top of the third, but that deficit was short-lived as the Eagles got a run of their own in the bottom-half of that inning. Later, in the bottom of the fourth, Legacy scored another run and found itself out in front, 2-1.
Some clutch-hitting for Foundation Academy from Bailey Trinder and Dewon Brazelton produced two runs in the top of the sixth, though, putting the Lions back on top 3-2.
The Eagles came up with a clutch-hit of their own, though, with Justin LaGasse driving in Brandon Correia to tie the game and eventually send it into extra-innings.
There, in the bottom of the ninth, Legacy loaded the bases and Jacob Klopp was walked to score Dalton Cantrell and end the game.
Along the way, both teams got strong pitching performances from their respective starters: Jacob Worley for Legacy Charter (7 innings, 2 earned runs, 6 hits) and eighth-grader Dewon Brazelton for Foundation Academy (5 innings, 1 earned run, 8 strikeouts and 1 hit).
"Jacob Worley absolutely has ice-water running through his veins," Chambless said. "He's been our best pitcher all year and I can't say enough about what he has done for us."
The season ended for Foundation Academy (6-11-1) and for Legacy, it goes on for at least another day. The Eagles advanced to face The Master's Academy — the top-seed in the 3A-3 Tournament — at 7 p.m. May 2.