TARPON SPRINGS — The top seed in Class 8A, District 8 has come down to a coin flip.
Sarasota Riverview scored four runs in the fourth inning Friday and two Rams pitchers scattered four hits in a 4-1 win over East Lake. Both teams are 5-1 in the four-team district. East Lake beat Riverview 3-2 on March 1.
A coin flip next week will determine the top two seeds for the district tournament. Palm Harbor University is the No. 3 seed and North Port is No. 4.
“We were just flat,” East Lake coach Dan Genna said. “They had the one big inning, where we had an error and then they had a big blast. I really can’t get on my guys. It was just one bad inning.”
Staked to a 1-0 lead after a Grant Hodges sacrifice fly scored Troy Strominger in the first inning, East Lake starter Cameron Churchill cruised through the first three innings. He ran into trouble in the fourth.
After a strikeout of Sean Labsan, Riverview’s Kyle Washburn reached on an infield throwing error. Cory Labsan then doubled to put runners at second and third. An RBI single by Sam Dannheisser tied the game at 1.
Alex Detweiler followed with a three-run homer to leftfield.
“We wanted to pitch to their No. 8 hitter and he hurt us,” Genna said. “That’s just the way it goes. We didn’t have very many hits tonight. It was just one of those games. For whatever reason, we were flat.”
Riverview (16-3) started left-hander Matt Peters, but replaced him with two out in the third. Blake Wyant relieved and gave up three hits in his four-plus innings.
After scoring in the first inning, East Lake was unable to get a runner to second base. Steven Plaskett pitched the final three innings for East Lake and did not give up a run.
Whether the Eagles win the coin flip, they will still open district play at home. If they are the No. 1 seed they will host North Port. If they are No. 2 they will host Palm Harbor University.
“I’d kind of rather play North Port just because they have to travel up here two hours,” Genna said.
East Lake (16-3) is also in the hunt for the PCAC North championship. The Eagles have games against PCAC opponents Tarpon Springs, Dunedin and Clearwater in the next two weeks. The North winner will play Pinellas Park.