DUNEDIN — Clearwater Central Catholic has played three games in four days but showed no signs of wear and tear Monday in a 14-1, six-inning win over Tarpon Springs at the Dunedin Spring Tournament. David Paul pitched a one-hitter and had three hits to lead the Marauders (15-1).
“I was overpitching early, but then I settled down,” said Paul, who struck out seven. “I knew we were going to hit. We’ve been hitting all season.”
CCC, which has won 15 straight since an opening-season loss to Lakewood, had 10 hits against the Spongers. Tarpon Springs also helped by committing seven errors.
The Marauders started slowly before finally putting things together.
Tarpon Springs scored its only run in the bottom of the first when Paul hit Matt Sakellarides with the bases loaded to force in a run. Then CCC got a run in the second, two each in the third and fourth and blew things open in the fifth.
Spongers starter Caleb Koulianos was replaced by Casey Luckenbill, and the Marauders gave him a rude welcome. Brenden Overton had an RBI double. Andrew Mink followed with an RBI single. Andrew Murphy did the same one out later.
The Spongers started the sixth inning with five straight errors and CCC scored five runs. The big hit came from Mink, who had a two-RBI triple.
“We played hard and got some breaks — actually a lot of breaks,” CCC coach Todd Vaughan said. “We got some super pitching by David after the first and did the things we needed to do to win.”
CCC will play Fivay at 5 p.m. today. Tarpon Springs will play the winner of the St. Petersburg Catholic-Central game 5 p.m. Wednesday.
Last season against Tarpon Springs, CCC lost by the 10-run mercy rule. The Marauders said they used that as motivation.
“We may have brought that up to them,” Vaughan said.
In other first-round games, the theme was the 10-run rule. Of the six games played Monday, four were decided by more than 10 runs. Dunedin defeated Central 12-2 in five innings. East Lake beat Pinellas Park 15-3 in five innings. Lynn Haven Mosley beat St. Petersburg Catholic 13-3 in six innings. Pasco beat Osceola 10-1. Countryside beat River Ridge 7-2.
Today’s second-round games begin at 5 p.m. In addition to the CCC game, Calvary Christian plays Mosley and Central plays St. Petersburg Catholic. The 8 p.m. games are Countryside vs. East Lake, Dunedin vs. Pasco and Osceola vs. River Ridge.