TAMPA Tampa Catholic avenged a loss to Berkeley Prep in the district baseball championship, defeating the Bucs 5-2 Tuesday in the Class 4A-Region 3 semifinals.
Two weeks ago, Berkeley (15-15) shut out the Crusaders, 6-0. This time, Tampa Catholic took the early lead when Dre Leal scored off an error at home after singling in the game’s first at-bat.
“This was the first time that we’ve gotten out to a lead against these guys,” Tampa Catholic coach Ty Griffin said. “I talked about being the rabbit and letting them chase us.”
TC (18-11) went up 4-1 in the fourth on a home run by Jake Clark.
Host Berkeley came closest to rallying in the bottom of the sixth. After a homer from Anthony Pellegrino drew the Bucs to within three, Berkeley loaded the bases. But a strikeout from TC relief pitcher Reeves Martin ended the inning.
“Great pitching performance by both teams, but I think emotionally we were there today,” said Griffin.
AJ Gonzalez got the win for TC. Senior Anderson Baldy pitched a complete game for Berkeley.
5A-3: Jesuit bats come alive in 11-1 victory DUNEDIN The only roadblock separating Jesuit from a state title might have been the batting slump the team has gone through in the last month.
The slump is over. The Tigers (26-2) poured it on Dunedin (21-8) in an 11-1 Class 5A-Region 3 semifinal win.
Jesuit coach Richie Warren made some lineup changes to get things going and it paid off immediately when Vincent Miniet, moved up to the leadoff spot, started the game with a home run. Adrian Chacon doubled and scored along with Ryan McCullers, and the Tigers were ahead 3-0 before Jordan Parnell took the hill in the bottom of the first.
Warren said it was just a matter of getting confident at the plate after the prolonged slump.
“We had to make some adjustments and that’s what we did,’’ Warren said. “When Miniet started off with a homer and the rest of the guys started hitting, it was a confidence boost. It was just what we needed.’’
Ronnie Ramirez and Hunter Van Horn kept Dunedin scoreless in relief as the Jesuit bats continued to awaken from their slumber. Spencer Trayner had a double and a triple, and Evan Cannan had two hits including a long homer for Jesuit. The Tigers added three more runs in the seventh to ice the game.
3A-2: Tampa Prep edges Santa Fe Cath. TAMPA Tampa Prep coach A.J. Hendrix got what he bargained for in a 3-2 win vs. Lakeland Santa Fe Catholic in a Class 3A-Region 2 semifinal.
“We’re a team that’s built on throwing strikes, making plays on defense, putting pressure on the defense with our speed, and putting the ball in play,” said Hendrix, who led the school to its first state semifinal last year.
Terrapins pitchers delivered the most crucial strikes while protecting that one-run lead in the sixth inning. Left-hander Sam Martin notched his fifth strikeout before the Crimson Hawks chased him with a single and a double that put runners on second and third.
Left fielder Watson Ramson came in to pitch and halted the threat with a pair of strikeouts. The Hawks outhit their hosts, 10-4, but they stranded two more runners in scoring position in the seventh, and nine overall.
Santa Fe Catholic opened the scoring with a two-run homer by Austin Barnes in the first inning. Tampa Prep scored its runs in the third, capitalizing on two singles, a hit batsman, an infield error and three of its six stolen bases. Luis Medina drove in two runs for the Terrapins.
2A-2: Cambridge Chr. rolls to 11-0 triumph TAMPA Cambridge Christian had no trouble with Winter Haven All Saints’ as the Lancers won 11-0 in five innings Tuesday to advance to the Class 2A-Region 2 final.
The bulk of the Cambridge offense came in the second inning when nine consecutive Cambridge batters reached base and the Lancers were able to plate seven. Levi Gilcrease highlighted the Lancers’ offense as he played a direct role in five of their 11 runs. He scored three runs and had a two-run single in the second. Gilcrease finished the game 2-for-3 with a walk and three stolen bases.
Zach Hessinger shut down the All Saints’ hitters, who scored 11 runs in their previous game. Hessinger went four innings and only allowed one hit while surrendering no walks. Gilcrease came on in relief in the fifth to close out the game. The duo recorded 12 consecutive outs at one point.