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Baseball: Osceola clinches PCAC South

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Sat. April 12, 2014 | Rodney Page | Email

SEMINOLE — It was senior night at Osceola, and Keith Weisenberg wasn’t about to end his stellar career with a loss. Despite not having his best stuff, he pitched a complete game in a 5-3 win over St. Petersburg.

The win clinched the PCAC South title for Osceola (17-4). Its opponent for Thursday’s game hasn’t been determined, but East Lake can get in by beating Tarpon Springs on Wednesday.

“There was no way I was leaving that game,” Weisenberg said. “We love playing against St. Pete. It was for the South (championship), and I know a lot of guys over there.”

Weisenberg scattered seven hits and struck out 14 to improve to 7-1. But the Green Devils did not make it easy.

Staked to a 2-0 lead after the first thanks, in part, to his RBI single, he ran into trouble in the second. With two outs and a runner on first, he got Chris Colonel swinging for Strike 3. But the ball was dropped by catcher Mike Kleinman.

Kleinman thought he heard the umpire call the batter out, so he did not throw to first to complete the out. The runner was called safe, which put two on with two outs. David Phrathep and Richie Rivera followed with RBI singles to make it 2-2.

“It’s part of the game,” Weisenberg said. “The umpire made a mistake, and we should have thrown to first anyway. It wasn’t all the umpire’s fault. We had to get past it.”

Which they did in the bottom of the second. With the bases loaded and one out thanks to an error, Abbi Jimenez drove in a run with a fly ball to center. Jaret Helinger then singled in another run, and Joey Coca scored on a passed ball to make it 5-2.

That was all Weisenberg and the Warriors needed.

St. Petersburg (15-8) got one run back in the fifth on a Matt Mainelli two-out single. Weisenberg ended the game by striking out five of the last six batters.

“Keith was really good without having his good stuff,” Osceola coach Stefan Futch said. “He had okay stuff. But he moved the ball around, got some groundouts, got some flyouts. He pitched through it when he didn’t have his good stuff.”

St. Petersburg coach Travis Phelps said he wished he could have the second inning back.

“We didn’t play badly, but we did play one bad inning,” Phelps said. “We don’t usually do that. We don’t usually have errors like that. This one hurts a little bit.”

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