BROOKSVILLE — The first time Springstead and Hernando met this season, the Leopards narrowly escaped with a comeback win in the final inning. The second meeting, Friday night, wasn’t as close.
Hernando beat the Eagles 5-0 behind a solid performance on the mound from Kyle Kilbourne.
“Kyle had his changeup going,” Hernando coach Tim Sims said. “Once he stopped overthrowing early, he began to pitch well.”
On paper, the contest looked to be a pitchers’ duel. Springstead ace Ryan Keith was meeting Hernando’s top pitcher.
And it was, until the third.
Keith (22/3 innings, three hits, three strikeouts, three earned runs) got wild, walking three in the inning. Combined with two errors and a hit by Justin Young (3-for-3, one run scored, one RBI), the Leopards (15-2) scored all five of their runs.
“Justin Young was seeing the ball well,” Sims said. “He and Tyler Bammert (1-for-3, one run, one RBI) got some key hits for us at the plate.”
Tyler Allen went 1-for-2 with a run scored, an RBI and a walk.
The five runs were all Kilbourne needed as he pitched his second complete-game shutout of the season. He escaped a two-on, one-out jam early and got his confidence boost from there.
The right-hander moved to 6-0, striking out three while scattering four hits and walking one.
Kilbourne’s issues came in the first, when he gave up singles to Kyle Cotiletta and Eric Correa to start the game. Brandon Agugliaro then hit what seemed like an easy double play grounder ball to second, but he beat the throw to first. Agugliaro stole second, his first of two stolen bases on the night, to make it second and third with one out.
But Kilbourne struck out Jonathan Brosher and retired Will Pagan to end the inning.
“We always want to beat Springstead because of the rivalry,” Kilbourne said. “Once I got out of that tough spot early, I was able to relax a little.”
Kyle Stein relieved Keith for the Eagles (8-8) and pitched 31/3 innings of shutout ball.