BROOKSVILLE — Thomas Sorrentino drove in Hank Shiver to complete a two-run rally in the bottom of the 12th inning late Friday night and Central came from behind to beat Pasco 5-4 in the championship game of the Pasco-Hernando Classic baseball tournament.
Moments earlier Matt Clark knocked in Zach Sorrentino with the tying run for the Bears, after the Pirates had taken the lead in the top half when Philip Wilson drove in Tyree Austin.
“I just wanted to score one run in the twelfth, to keep them in it,” Central coach Al Sorrentino said. “And Thomas (Sorrentino) really came through.”
Players held the trophy aloft, recounting the last inning and laughing, relieved, after the late ending.
“We have 10 capable pitchers on our team,” Al Sorrentino said. “Even going this far, we still had one or two.”
“These guys kind of turned it around,” Sorrentino said in reference to last week’s win against Citrus that gave his team the boost it needed to change their playing style.
The first few innings started slowly, with strong pitching on both sides.
It wasn’t until Pasco’s Ty Cross was taken off the mound that the Bears were able to score. Justin Chevalier hit a double in the bottom of the fourth and later scored on a hit by Clark.
Later in the inning the Bears loaded the bases for CJ Martinez, who doubled in Matt Warner and Zach Sorrentino for a 3-0 lead.
The Pasco fans cheered for one thing going into the fifth inning: just get on base. The Pirates needed the encouragement. To that point they had just two hits.
The Pirates struck in the fifth inning. Cody Melton hit a grounder to leftfield that allowed Austin to score, putting the Pirates on the board.
On the next play, Sam Newlon batted in Wilson.
Malik Johns hit a triple to start the seventh, and a catcher’s error gave him the opening he needed to dash home. The Pirates tied the score, and the game headed into extra innings.