EAST LAKE — Tuesday night’s 4-3 win over Pinellas Park was a blueprint of how East Lake coach Dan Genna wants his team to play.
It starts with pitching. Ryan Wall provided that by scattering two hits and allowing only one run in six innings.
Then there is defense. The Eagles did not commit an error, and infielders Christian James, Keegan Maronpot and Andrew Prozzillo each made nice plays.
Then there is timely hitting. The Eagles (6-2) scored three runs in the fourth inning thanks to RBI hits from Cameron Churchill, Nick DeSantis and James. They added a big insurance run in the fifth on an RBI groundout by Maronpot.
“If I had to put money down on this game I’d say we would win 4-2 or something like that,” Genna said. “Ryan had all three pitches working. We’re not an offensive juggernaut, but we put some hits together. It’s the same old story, pitching, defense and then hitting.”
Both teams cruised through the first three innings. Pinellas Park starter Brandon Grigsby was on. He struck out six in the first three innings, four looking, and finished the game with nine strikeouts.
But Grigsby ran into trouble in the fourth.
Maronpot led off with a triple, his second extra-base hit of the game. Chruchill followed with a looping liner over first that ended up being a double. Then came an RBI single by DeSantis, who took second on an error in centerfield.
One out later, James drove in DeSantis for the third run of the inning.
Pinellas Park got one run back in the fifth after Richard Benn led off with a double. One out later, Tyler Curry had a perfect squeeze bunt that scored Benn to cut the lead to 3-1.
East Lake’s final run came in the fifth when Brad Deppermann got a one out single. An infield error put Deppermann on third with one out. Maronpot then grounded out to shortstop but Deppermann was able to score.
The Patriots (4-4) made it interesting in the seventh. Steven Plaskett relieved Wall and gave up a single to Derek Jaar and an RBI triple to pinch hitter Jake Taylor. A one out groundout to second allowed Taylor to score.
Plaskett then ended the game by striking out pinch hitter Tanner Lawrence.
“I kind of rolled the dice by not starting (ace pitcher) Deppermann,” Genna said. “I knew Pinellas Park would be scrappy. But Ryan pitched very well and Steven is also a good pitcher.”