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5A-12 district baseball: Pinellas Park rides big fifth inning to repeat

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Sat. April 30, 2011 | Chris Girandola

PINELLAS PARK — Pinellas Park duplicated last year’s feat with its second consecutive Class 5A-12 district title as freshman right-hander Brandon Grigsby tossed a one-hit complete game Friday to lead the Patriots to a 4-1 victory over Largo.

The Patriots defeated the Packers in last season’s district championship.

“I’m excited that we won, but even happier that I was able to win it for the upperclassmen,” said Grigsby, who had four strikeouts and three walks. “I was able to watch (Largo) the other night in their semifinal game, and I noticed they liked to hit it to the left side so I kept the ball down and away.”

The Packers (10-14) took a 1-0 lead in the third inning when George Koceja led off with a triple and scored on a perfectly placed squeeze bunt by Steve Petrilyak.

The Patriots broke through with four runs in the fifth inning off Largo starter Matt Piatt.

Donny Norris had a run-scoring double with one out to start the scoring and Brian Long followed with an RBI triple. After Piatt walked Ryan Reinoso, a balk brought in Long from third and moved Reinoso to second before Allan Mead’s single scored Reinoso for a 4-1 lead.

“We’ve just tried to instill in the younger guys the importance of playing consistent and playing the game the right way,” Patriots coach Bill Ruttencutter said. “They’ve learned that if they continue doing that and continue putting in the work, they’ll be rewarded for it.”

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