Down the stretch, Sunlake High senior left-hander David Castillo just gets better.
“I think that if he walks a batter on four pitches, he adjust his mechanics and just comes back better,” Seahawks coach Dick Rohrberg said. “But he can dominate a game, but he has to concentrate and get out front of batters.”
Castillo was concentrating hard Tuesday when he no-hit Tarpon Springs for the 2-1 win. More than 99 pitches, Castillo struck out nine, walked four and hit one batter, but improved to 1-1 this season for the 3-2 Seahawks that travel in-town rival Land O’ Lakes (4-1) tonight at 7.
The Spongers’ lone run came when one of Castillo’s walks stole second base, moved over to third on a groundout and then was caught in a rundown, but Sunlake was called for runner interference.
Tuesday was Sunlake’s second no-hitter, though first by one player. Last season, Castillo and former senior Travis Doyel combined to throw one against Anclote.
Castillo brings a mid-80s fastball and a good curve that brings plenty of action, Rohrberg said.
Pasco is fighting a lighting problem, but coach Pat Fortunato and company hope to have the issue of non-functioning field lights resolved as soon as today.
“I’m a very patient guy, but it is frustrating,” Fortunato said. “It is what it is, but we still have to do a lot to try to get these games in.”
Pasco’s light problem affected Tuesday’s game hosting 9-Mile War rival Zephyrhills, in which the game not only had to be moved to 4 p.m., it was unable to conclude due to darkness.
The Pirates, with one out in the bottom of the sixth, lead the Bulldogs 9-5 and the remainder of Tuesday’s game will be played prior to when Pasco travels to Zephyrhills on March 28.
The Pirates also had to alter their schedule with Wesley Chapel: The Wildcats will host tonight and Pasco will be at home April 1. Pasco did have a little luck, as its not supposed to host its next home game until March 7 against Brooksville Nature Coast.
“Hopefully it’ll be fixed by then, but the lighting is old,” Fortunato said. “When they get it working is when things will be back to normal.”
Bishop McLaughlin battling
New Hurricanes coach Jeff Swymer is used to starting five freshmen.
“It wasn’t too long ago that I was starting five freshman at other places,” the former Wiregrass Ranch coach said. “But we’re inexperienced and also not used to winning. We have to work on finishing games and practices, so we’re emphasized that.”
Although Bishop is 4-3, it let two winnable games get away from them late. On Feb. 18, Bishop led 3A-District 7 foe Tampa Prep 4-2 after five innings, but allowed the Terrapins to score three in the bottom of the sixth for the 5-4 win, and on Feb. 13, let a 2-1 deficit to East Lake slip to 5-1 in the sixth.
“I’m excited because we’re so young, but also interested to see where we’re at at the end of the year,” Swymer said. “Our youth is showing late in games, but now is the time to take advantage of us because our defense was suspect and hitting was not timely, but we’ve corrected that for the rest of the year.”
Swymer also said senior left-handed pitcher Jack Tyler (2-0, 0.72 earned-run average, 19 strikeouts) has become the team’s ace, even though Tyler threw only three innings last season.
“He’s been stellar as stellar can be,” Swymer said.
Fivay (3-2) senior pitcher Sean Fluke has started his season with a hot hand, already striking out 30 with only two walks in three games. Fluke, who is also batting .444, is 3-0 with a 1.40 ERA over 20 innings piutched, and will likely face Sunlake’s Castillo on Tuesday when the Falcons travel to the Seahawks for a 5A-8 matchup.
Correspondent Mike Camunas can be reached at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @MikeCamunas.