CLEARWATER — Calvary Christian dealt Clearwater Central Catholic its first Class 3A, District 9 baseball loss thanks to a fifth-inning comeback and solid pitching from starter Nate Reed for a 6-5 victory.
The Warriors (17-4, 9-2) jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning but gave up five runs after the first and trailed 5-4 in the bottom of the fifth.
Reed led off with a single and moved to second when Grant McDaniel was hit by a pitch. Johnnie Schneider loaded the bases with an infield single. Jake Richardson then hit a fielder’s choice groundout to third that tied the score at 5. Luis Lopez bunted down the first-base line to score pinch-runner Dayne Dawson.
Reed stayed out of trouble in the final two innings to earn the win. He had five strikeouts. CCC (19-3, 10-1) pitchers allowed nine walks.
“This was a big game for us against a very good team,” Calvary coach Greg Olsen said. “We’ve put in a lot of hard work in practice and it’s starting to show in the games.”
PHU in title game
Monday, Palm Harbor University lost to Countryside, putting the Hurricanes’ hopes of playing in the Pinellas County Athletic Conference softball championship in jeopardy.
But things changed dramatically in PHU’s favor Tuesday.
The Hurricanes beat Seminole 13-2. The Cougars, meanwhile, were upset 6-4 by Tarpon Springs.
Instead of a three-way tie atop the North Division conference standings, PHU gains sole possession of first and will play in Friday’s title game.
“The girls were really upset about losing on Monday and came out and hit the ball really well,” Hurricanes coach Kerry Katchuk said.
PHU (19-4) had 19 hits against Seminole, breaking the game open late by scoring four runs in the fifth inning, two in the sixth and five in the seventh. Moriah Connolly and Jess Adams each had three hits. Connolly got on base five times and scored four runs.
Rodney Page and Bob Putnam, Times staff writers