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SPRING HILL — The last time Brooks-DeBartolo and Bishop McLaughlin faced off in the Class 2A, District 10 championship game, the Hurricanes got the best of the Phoenix and took home a district title with an 11-4 win.
But in the fourth meeting between the schools, Phoenix coach Donnie Oliver had a gut feeling that Friday evening was going to be the night Brooks-DeBartolo finally knocked off its district rival.
And he was right.
Brooks-DeBartolo (13-14) used key home runs from Davyon Dozier and Javier Reynoso and a good pitching performance from Adam Eggnatz to narrowly defeat Bishop McLaughlin 4-3 in a Class 2A region semifinal.
“This was a nail-biter,” Oliver said. “I told the guys earlier, ‘We’re going to get it,’ and we got it. I told the guys, ‘Don’t make any mistakes and we’ll win the ball game.’ We didn’t make any mistakes so we won.”
It looked like the Hurricanes (21-8) were going to put up a few runs when they scored two early off Eggnatz (seven strikeouts) in the bottom of the first inning. In the top of the fourth Dozier sent a two-run blast over the leftfield fence to give the Phoenix a 3-2 lead.
Reynoso’s home run off Hurricanes pitcher Dre Leal (three strikeouts) put the Hurricanes in a two-run hole, but Bishop McLaughlin answered in the bottom of the inning with a run to cut the lead to 4-3.
The Hurricanes had one last chance in the bottom of the seventh when they had two on with one out and senior catcher T.J. Wharton up. But Reynoso closed the door on Bishop McLaughlin’s season, striking out Wharton and getting Leal to pop out.
“We had our chances tonight, we just couldn’t come through,” Bishop McLaughlin coach Nick Rodriguez said.