DADE CITY — The lighting situation at Pasco High forced a couple of schedule changes in the Pirates’ matchup with rival Zephyrhills.
A malfunctioning lighting rig led the teams into a 4 p.m. start time Tuesday. But the setting sun outpaced the conclusion of the game and it had to be postponed.
The game will resume March 28 at Zephyrhills before the regularly-scheduled game at 7.
When Tuesday’s game was called, the Pirates led 9-5 and were at-bat with one out in the bottom of the sixth.
The Pirates jumped on the visiting Bulldogs early. Leadoff hitter Robbie Hanlon doubled to right in the team’s first at-bat, then Turner Imoff drove him in. A fielding error cost the Bulldogs two more runs, and they were staring at a 3-0 hole when they stepped up to hit in the second.
The Bulldogs answered when Dalton Gold got a bunt single to start, Daniel Gleaton walked and starting pitcher Riley McClellan singled to left to load the bases. Pirates starter Corey Mills walked the next two batters. Then James DeBerry —2-for-4 with a double and two RBIs — singled to left, driving in McClellan.
Zack McClellan singled to drive in Josh Fiallo, and the game looked like it would be a barn burner. But the Pasco offense kept churning and the Zephyrhills offense evaporated.
“We’re a fast team; we want to utilize that and put guys in scoring position,” Pasco coach Pat Fortunato said.
The Pirates put constant pressure on Riley McClellan and DeBerry. The Pirates were 4-for-4 stealing bases in the 51/3 innings, and the Bulldogs were victims of passed balls and fielding errors that let the game start to slip away.
“We’ve got a lot of young guys in the middle,” said Bulldogs coach Ricky Giles, who formerly guided the Pirates. “Sometimes we just have to take these bumps in the road.”
The Pirates got three in the third, two earned, then two more in the fifth off relief pitcher Morgan Goodwin.
When a pitch glanced off DeBerry’s glove in the bottom of the sixth, Giles stepped out of the dugout and convened with the umpires, who decided to call the game.