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ST. PETERSBURG — For four innings Friday it looked as if St. Petersburg Catholic was going to have to scratch and claw through another game.
But the bats came alive in a six-run fifth inning and the Barons coasted to an 11-1 six-inning win over Shorecrest.
SPC (4-1) had 11 hits, but only four against Shorecrest ace Marc Brakeman. The Barons led only 2-1 when Brakeman was pulled after four innings because of a high pitch count.
Joey Saunders pitched a complete game for the Barons, scattering three hits and giving up one run.
“We took advantage of some things and hit the ball in the right spot,” SPC coach John Vigue said. “That’s what high school baseball is all about. You’ve got to take advantage of big innings.”
The Barons scored two unearned runs in the first and clung to a one-run lead after four. Andrew Roy relieved Brakeman and the Barons started hitting right away. Jimmy Lynch led off with a double and Corey Baptist followed with an RBI single. That led to an RBI double from Will Gerdes then an RBI single by Dakota Sarafin.
Roy was pulled without recording an out. Jason Kiracofe couldn’t stop the scoring. Colin O’Keeffe and Ryan Mueller drew one-out walks then Max Geller drove them in.
SPC’s one-run lead was suddenly seven.
“(Brakeman) had 89 pitches through four innings,” Shorecrest coach Don Reed said. “That’s too many pitches. It’s early in the season so we didn’t want to push him.”
The Barons tacked on three runs in the sixth.
Geller was 3-for-5 with four RBIs; he was a home run shy of hitting for the cycle. Baptist had two doubles and Sarafin was 2-for-2 with two walks.
“Some of our key hitters, like Corey Baptist and Dakota Sarafin, have been struggling a little bit,” Vigue said. “But it was nice to see them get some hits tonight and break out of it.”
Tarpon Springs 5, Seminole 1: The Spongers were down to their last out in the top of the seventh before scoring five runs to break open the game. Tarpon Springs scored the tying run on a bases-loaded error, then two singles and another Seminole error led to four more runs. It was the first loss of the season for the Warhawks. Pitcher Caleb Koulianos scattered five hits against Seminole’s powerful lineup and one unearned run. He was also 2-for-4 with two RBIs. Tommy Grill was 3-for-4. “We had runners in scoring position in the first, fourth, fifth and sixth innings,” Spongers coach Dickie Hart said. “We had the bases loaded in the sixth. We just couldn’t get that big hit. I figured something had to give. There was no way Caleb was going to do so well in his first two starts and be 0-2.” Koulianos lost a 1-0 game last week to Osceola.
Seminole 8, Countryside 4: Jennie Sittloh improved to 4-1 as she helped the Warhawks jump out to a big lead and cruise to victory. Nicollette Myers had a double and triple for Seminole.
Osceola 7, Boca Ciega 0: The Warriors broke open a tight game by scoring three runs each in the fifth and sixth innings. Kaitlyn Romaine won her sixth game of the season.
Standout performances from Friday night
Caleb Koulianos, Tarpon Springs: Not only did Koulianos hold Seminole to one unearned run, he was 2-for-4 with two RBIs in a big win over the Warhawks.
Max Geller, St. Petersburg Catholic: Geller had a single, double, triple and four RBIs in an 11-1 win over Shorecrest.
Brittany McGee, Admiral Farragut: Freshman made quite an impact at the St. Petersburg City Championships, winning the high jump, long jump and 100 hurdles and finishing second in the 300 hurdles.
Mario Ojeda, Northside Christian: Distance specialist won two individual events (800 and 1600) and ran a leg on the winning 4x800 relay at St. Petersburg City Championships.
Kaitlyn Romaine, Osceola: Pitched a shutout in a 7-0 district win over Boca Ciega and improved to 6-2.
By the numbers
13 Runs scored by Countryside in the first inning against Gibbs. The Cougars won 24-0.
10 Hits Seminole had against Countryside in a key conference softball win over Countryside.
164 Points Northside Christian scored to win the girls team title at the St. Petersburg City Championships, which was more than double the total of runnerup Boca Ciega.