SEMINOLE — It will be an all-Pinellas final at Thursday’s Steve Georgiadis Memorial tournament.
Host Seminole used a nine-run fifth inning to defeat Cambridge Christian 10-3 in Tuesday night’s semifinal. In the afternoon semifinal, St. Petersburg defeated West Boca Raton 2-1.
When St. Petersburg played Seminole a week ago, the Green Devils won 7-2.
Against West Boca Raton, St. Petersburg had just enough offense and got solid pitching from sophomore Dylan Mlotkowski, who scattered five hits and shut out West Boca Raton in the final six innings.
The Bulls scored in the first when Bradley Busch singled to center with one out and a runner at first. Centerfielder Richie Rivera’s throw to third sailed into the visiting dugout, which allowed a run to score.
The one-run lead held until the third inning. John Miller opened with a single and was moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Sam Goodis. Rivera was hit by a pitch to put runners at first and second. Ian Smith followed with a double to score Miller and Rivera for the Green Devils’ only runs.
“Dylan has really stepped up for us in the past three or four weeks,” Green Devils coach Travis Phelps said. “Today he wasn’t great, but he was effective. He was throwing strikes and letting the other team put the ball in play. I wanted to get him out of there late in the game, but he just kept getting outs.”
The Green Devils had only four hits, one after the third inning. But with Mlotkowski throwing strikes, it didn’t matter. He retired the final seven batters he faced.
St. Petersburg was knocked out of the Georgiadis Tournament in the first round last year by Indian Rocks Christian.
“We are much more focused this time around,” Phelps said.
Seminole didn’t seem focused for much of its game. Clinging to a 1-0 lead in the fifth inning, the Warhawks allowed the Lancers to tie the game. A walk and an Alex McGathey error put runners at first and second with one out. Then a fly ball to rightfield was dropped, which loaded the bases.
Zach Mallan then hit a fly ball to leftfield that scored Levi Gilcrease and tied the game at 1.
The bad top of the inning seemed to motivate Seminole. Nick Nolan led off with a single off Cambridge’s Ryan Block. Stephen Nobles then doubled, as did McGathey to score two. Two walks and three wild pitches led to three more runs. Another big blow came when Nobles doubled to score two more runs. Seminole sent 13 batters to the plate in the fifth.
“It’s always hard kicking the ball around like we did,” McGathey said. “And the later in the game you get the more pressure there is to score. The last couple games we’ve been picking it up when we needed to.”
Tylor Craft pitched five strong innings to get the win. He gave up three hits, one unearned run and struck out seven. McGathey and Nobles were 2-for-3 with two doubles. Cambridge Christian was led by Gilcrease, who was 1-for-2 with a run scored.