EAST LAKE — East Lake coach Dan Genna forces opponents to adhere to his style of baseball, which is to aggressively steal bases and apply pressure until teams commit mental errors.
Tuesday night was no different, as East Lake defeated Largo 10-4 to advance to the Class 5A region semifinals.
The Eagles scored on a fielder’s choice in the first, and then in the bottom of the third, with Nathan Montano standing on third base and Justin DiSanto on first, Genna rolled the dice.
DiSanto sprinted for second and the throw by Largo’s George Koceja was not in time. Montano slid home amid all of the confusion.
“We were going until they threw us out and we wanted to put pressure on their defense,” Genna said. “That’s our game.”
The Eagles stole six bases in the game.
East Lake (20-8) scored three more times in the third to take a 5-0 lead. With runners on first and second, Morgan Cowan lined a run-scoring hit to leftfield, followed by Garrett Franklin’s two-RBI hit.
“I was trying to move the runners over and instead I scored them,” Franklin said. The Eagles crossed home plate four times total in the fourth and once more in the fifth.
Largo (9-19) battled back with a couple of RBI singles from Koceja and Steve Petrilyak in the fourth. Two more runs in the seventh made the game a bit closer, but the lead was too big for the Packers.
“(Largo’s) here for a reason,” Genna said. “They beat a pretty good team to get here.”