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Hillsborough district baseball: Finals preview
Posted Apr 26, 2012 by Jarrett Guthrie
Updated Apr 26, 2012 at 02:37 AM
Area district baseball tournaments have had plenty of surprises this week, namely top seed’s Bloomingdale, Steinbrenner and Jefferson all going down in semifinal games and tonight’s finals will show off some interesting matchups. Here is a brief look at the games and some notes to get you in the right frame of mind.
8A-7 Final @ Durant, 7 p.m.
Durant (5) vs. Wharton (3), 7 p.m.
7A-9 Final @ Gaither, 7 p.m.
Gaither (4) v. Freedom (2)
7A-8 Final @ Brandon, 7 p.m.
Riverview (3) v. Brandon (1)
6A-11 Final @ Jefferson, 7 p.m.
Sickles (4) v. King (2)
4A-9 @ Berkeley Prep, 7 p.m.
Tampa Catholic (2) v. Berkeley Prep (1)
2A-8 @ Interbay Little League, 6 p.m.
Bayshore Christian (2) v. Cambridge Christian (1)
News and Notes: The 8A-7 tournament sported a 9-2 Bloomingdale and a defending state champion in Alonso, but Wharton and Durant each showed a 5-5 regular season district record in arguably the states toughest district, did nothing but create surprisingly seasoned teams. Both offer solid pitching, but both have used their two top guys this week. It will be interesting to see if either of Monday’s starters, Shaun Rubin (Wharton) or Trey Oest (Durant), who both went seven innings are ready to take the mound again tonight … Freedom has done a tremendous job this season under coach AJ Leppla and his staf,f going 15-8 this season and marking the best record in school history. The Patriots got a huge lift from senior Kyle Schindler in Tuesday’s semifinal win, as the pitcher tossed a complete game over Wiregrass Ranch and added a two-run homerun at the plate. Gaither came out the winner over top-seeded Steinbrenner in an 11-error, eight-inning nightcap Tuesday. Alex Milne (4-2) came on in relief for the Cowboys earning a win in a solid 3.1 inning, five strikeout performance … Want to know how Riverview reached its tournament finals? Dylan Drawdy and his 15 strikeouts Tuesday night, that’s how. Unfortunately, after going seven complete on Tuesday, he probably won’t be able to pitch against top-seeded Brandon. The Eagles shutout East Bay Tuesday 7-0 and have staff ace Chris Toney (7-1, 1.31 era) to turn the ball to tonight … The 6A-11 semifinals had a pitcher give up just three hits (Matt Lemons, Strawberry Crest) and another strike out 10 (Jimmy Herget, Jefferson) and both lose. King got a solid, complete game outing from P Brett Morales and a huge lift from the return of junior Tanner Williams, who was serving a six week suspension. Williams led off the fifth with a double to the left-center gap and later came around on a Kevin Buckley double and then the second baseman made a highlight reel, leaping, line-drive snag to start a double play that sealed the Lions 1-0 win. Corey Johnson limited Jefferson to a first-inning run and then doubled and scored a run for the Gryphons, as Sickles upset top seed Jefferson 3-1 … Tampa Catholic sophomore Paulie Russo has been smoking the ball this year and added a 3-for-3, two run, four RBI night to his season, as the Crusaders took out Sarasota Booker 14-0 on Tuesday. Russo picked up his 11th double and fifth homerun of the year in the game. The Crusaders will face Berkeley Prep (which had the bye in the three-team district) tonight for the third time this season as the two split the regular season games … Bayshore Christian got a lift from its bench as Dylan Richards had a pinch-hit, two-run homerun for the Faith Warriors 13-7 win over Academy at the Lakes. They will face off against Cambridge Christian, which has defeated Bayshore twice in the regular season, and reached the final behind a one-hit, nine strikeout, shutout performance from team captain Matt Mullins.
They said it
- “It was hard to watch from the sidelines, but these guys stepped up with me out and stayed together. That’s what it is all about. We have a seven-game win streak going, we need to just keep winning, that is exciting.” – King junior, Tanner Williams on his six week absence and coming back to help key the Lions Wednesday win.
- “It means a lot to finally come together. (Coach Leppla) has worked really hard to get us ready and we’ve worked very hard to get where we are. We’ll enjoy this for a while, get to practice tomorrow and we have a district title to come out and win.” – Freedom senior Kyle Schindler said after Tuesday’s semifinal win earned the Patriots a shot at a first-ever district title.
Check in here Friday for a look at the two finals featuring Hillsborough County teams:
5A-11 Final @ Middleton, 7 p.m.
Robinson (2) v. Jesuit (1)
3A-8 Final @ Bishop McLaughlin, 7 p.m.
Bishop McLaughlin (3) v. Tampa Prep (1)