PLANT CITY — In his first appearance after missing 10 days and one start to remove a cyst near his waistline, Eric Hinostroza pitched Brandon to a 6-1 win over Class 7A, District 8 rival Plant City.
The right-hander, who scattered eight hits, struck out 10 and walked three, improved to 4-0 and helped Brandon (12-4, 7-0) remain unbeaten in the district.
“People want to talk about an ace,” Brandon coach Matt Stallbaumer said. “We’re confident with him on the mound.”
Hinostroza victimized Robert Foster twice, throwing the Plant City hitter out with first and third and two out in the second before striking him out with two out and the bases loaded in the fourth.
“We were all kind of anxious to see how he was going to do,” Stallbaumer said.
Leading 2-0, the Eagles pulled away with two runs each in the sixth and seventh innings. Austin Sullivan hit a two-run single with the bases loaded and two out in the sixth. Then, after the host Raiders scored their lone run in the sixth, Brandon came back with two more on Jordan Feist’s two-run single.
“We had opportunities all night long,” Stallbaumer said. “We took care of our offense. We were able to get some runs.”
Plant City (7-6, 4-3) got singles by Sergio Garcia and Nick Rodriguez in the second, but both were left stranded. Another wasted chance came in the fourth when Connor Slagill and Trey Matthews singled, followed by a walk to Mike Diaz. Again, the Raiders were held scoreless by Hinostroza.
Plant City got on the scoreboard in the sixth when Garcia led off with a single and came around on an errant relay throw after a Rodriguez single.
Hinostroza drove in Brandon’s first run with an RBI single in the third and Jacob Sugden hit a run-scoring double in the fifth.