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DUNEDIN — Osceola coach Stefan Futch preached to his team all week about how Dunedin was notorious for jumping out to big leads.
Futch was right. The Falcons started Wednesday’s nondistrict game by piling on the runs in the first inning.
But it was the way Dunedin scored that Futch could not have predicted.
Osceola starter Taylor Layner, a Florida State signee who is one of the county’s best pitchers, had one of the roughest outings of his career. In the first inning, he walked three batters, hit two others and gave up a two-run single to Alex Libby.
By then, the Falcons were up 5-0 and cruised to an 8-4 victory.
“Taylor was excited,” Futch said. “He’s a senior, and he wanted to beat Dunedin, which is the big boy on the block. It just wasn’t our night.”
It was a frustrating outcome for the Warriors, who were 8-0 after a few nondescript wins and looked forward to Wednesday’s game to see how they stacked up against one of the county’s premier programs.
But Layner wasn’t his usual self. He labored through the first inning, throwing 38 pitches. He threw 30 more in the second inning and was pulled after issuing a bases-loaded walk that scored another run.
“Taylor was just a little off,” Futch said. “But that happens.”
After scoring five in the first inning, the Falcons (9-1) added a run each in the second, third and fourth innings to go ahead 8-0.
“Taylor is every bit as good a pitcher as we’re going to face this season,” Dunedin coach Tom Hilbert said. “We have some pretty good guys at the top of the lineup who can make things happen, and we were able to piece together some runs.”
Falcons starter Aaron Chesson got his first win of the season after holding Osceola scoreless through four innings.
The Warriors (8-1) scored once in the seventh inning and added three more in the seventh. Josh Townsend went 4-for-4 and Layner had two hits to lead the Warriors’ offense.