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Baseball: Lakewood's Harris is go-to guy again in all-star game

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Wed. June 8, 2011 | Bob Putnam | Email

CLEARWATER — Morgan Harris still is waiting to find a college to play for next season.

The Lakewood infielder was among four of 25 seniors who remained unsigned when Pinellas played Hillsborough in the annual all-star game at Tropicana Field two weeks ago. Yet it was Harris who came through in the clutch, delivering the winning hit in his only at-bat to help Pinellas beat Hillsborough for the first time in the game’s five-year existence.

Tuesday, Harris was at it again.

Playing in the Pinellas North/South senior all-star doubleheader, he had a combined three hits in both games, including one that ignited a three-run rally in the nightcap as the South swept the North, 3-0 and 7-6.

In the first game, Harris had a single and triple. In the second game, he came in as a pinch-hitter and had the go-ahead single in the seventh. The South trailed 6-4 in the second game before scoring three runs in the final two innings.

Tuesday’s all-star game was put together for players like Harris. The rosters were made up of nearly all unsigned seniors in hopes of getting them one more chance to impress a college.

Strategy: The North used a combined eight pitchers in both games with no one throwing more than two innings. The South team, meanwhile, used five pitchers in both games. St. Petersburg Catholic’s Matt Mooney and Clearwater’s Tyler O’Brien pitched the first game for the South and combined on a shutout.

Big hitters: The North had three players who had a combined two hits in both games. They were Clearwater Central Catholic’s Jeff Campbell and Ryan Hallam and Indian Rocks Christian’s Brian Balbin.

Did you know: The North/South all-star game was initially scheduled for June 1 at Clearwater’s Carpenter Complex but because of heavy rain was postponed until Tuesday at the same site.

Did you know, part II: Clearwater Central Catholic had six players on the North roster, the most from any team. They were: Steven Arango, Campbell, Hallam, Charlie Lamar, Eric Simone and Seth Paitsel. The Marauders, who won the Dunedin Spring Invitational and a district title, did not have a player on the roster for the Pinellas-Hillsborough all-star game.

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