BRANDON — Steinbrenner overcame four errors with a sixth-inning rally to beat Hillsborough 7-6 during Saladino Tournament Day 1 pool play Saturday at Brandon High.
After an overthrow in the top of the sixth gave the Terriers (6-2) a 6-5 edge, the Warriors (7-1) strung together three hits and a sacrifice fly from designated hitter Cole Gordon.
In the bottom of the sixth, William Darnell doubled and Brandon Johnson singled before Kevin Merrell doubled home one run to tie it and put runners at second and third. An out later Gordon flied to center to get the go-ahead run home.
Merrell finished the game 3-for-4 with two RBIs, and Johnson was 2-for-3 with a triple and one RBI.
Steinbrenner hadn’t played a game in eight days before its tournament matchup with Hillsborough, and the Warriors played like it.
“We’ve been playing great D,” Steinbrenner coach John Crumbley said. “We’ve just got to come back after resting (today) and come back Monday and try to play a cleaner game.”
Meanwhile, Crumbley said he had hoped starting pitcher Andrew Lindsay would make it through five innings. But the left-hander, who had been sick, Crumbley said, ran out of steam, giving up three hits in the third inning and one in the fourth.
So with two outs in the fourth and Hillsborough ahead 5-4, Crumbley turned to Ryan Fatzinger.
Though Fatzinger admitted he was nervous when he first took the mound in the back-and-forth game, the junior right-hander allowed just one hit down the stretch to pick up the victory.
“I love pitching after a starting pitcher like Lindsay,” Fatzinger said. “I feel like he pretty much set the table for what I have to do the rest of the game.”
Crumbley felt confident going to Fatzinger.
“He’s been consistent. That’s his fifth appearance for us in eight games,” the coach said. “He’s our guy.”
Hillsborough took its lead in the sixth after a walk, a Rodnie Bernard single and an error by a Steinbrenner outfielder.
Pool play in the annual event continues on Monday.