SPRING HILL — After a one-year absence, Bishop McLaughlin is headed back to the region playoffs. The berth comes after the Hurricanes defeated Carrollwood Day 5-3 Tuesday night in the Class 3A, District 7 semifinals.
The Patriots (13-10) seemed to have things under control after jumping out to a 3-0 lead in the top of the first. Bryce Benedict, who singled, and Colin Campbell, who reached on a walk, scored when a wild pitch got by Bishop McLaughlin catcher Dillon Morton, then a throwing error got by starting pitcher Carson Ragsdale.
“It was a tough game for (Ragsdale), but he’ll bounce back in his next start,” Bishop McLaughlin coach Jeff Swymer said. “Frankie (German) did a great job, and (Will) Potosky was very good, too.”
Ragsdale (two earned runs, two strikeouts) struggled with control for the Hurricanes (16-7), walking six and throwing three wild pitches over his three innings of work before being pulled for reliever German.
“It was intense,” German said. “We all just really wanted to get back to playoffs, and that was our goal all along.”
In the bottom of the third, the Bishop McLaughlin offense finally got to Benedict (3-5), the Carrollwood starter on the mound. Four consecutive hits to start the frame, including two doubles, tied the score. The go-ahead fourth run scored when Paul Coumoulos knocked in R.J. Perciavalle on a routine ground out.
That would be all German and Potosky, who got his third save with one inning in relief, needed. Over the next four innings, neither surrendered a hit with only one walk and two strikeouts. German (3-2) picked up the victory.
In the nightcap, Tampa Prep bested Seffner Christian 10-0 in six innings to advance to the district title game Thursday.
“Sam Martin was great on the mound,” Terrapins coach A.J. Hendrix said. “Hopefully, we can keep it up on Thursday against Bishop McLaughlin.”
Martin tossed a complete-game, one-hit shutout to dominate the Crusaders (12-12). The Terrapins (17-9) overwhelmed from the start, jumping out to a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first and added another four runs in the third.
4A-6: Locals KO’ed
A day after picking up its first district win of the season, beating Ridgewood 13-9, Hudson didn’t have the same magic in the semifinals against the top seed. Ocala Trinity Catholic shut out the Cobras 12-0 in five innings at Ridgewood.
2A-7: AATL ousted
Cambridge Christian beat Academy at the Lakes 14-2 in its district semifinal, earning the right to play Bayshore Christian for the district title Thursday.
Sophomore catcher Devin Lopez led the Lancers, going 2-for-4 with three RBIs, two doubles and two runs scored. Six of nine Cambridge Christian starters recorded at least one hit, and the Lancers combined for seven.
Bayshore Christian and Cambridge Christian split when the teams met in the regular season, with the Faith Warriors taking the first game 10-5 and the Lancers winning the second, 8-7.