ST. PETERSBURG — Sarasota Riverview jumped on St. Petersburg starter Dylan Mlotkowski early in Thursday’s Class 8A-8 district championship and survived a Green Devils rally to win 6-3 at Huggins-Stengel Field.
The Rams (14-9) scored five runs in the first two innings, including four in the second, to win the district title.
Riverview will play at home Thursday against Bloomingdale. St. Petersburg will travel to Plant.
St. Petersburg’s troubles started in the first when Justin Cohen led off with a single and scored one out later on a double by Alex Detweiller. Detweiller was thrown out at third trying to stretch it to a triple, and Mlotkowski got the final out on a grounder to first.
Mlotkowski became his own worst enemy in the second.
After a strikeout, he walked the next three batters to load the bases. Green Devils’ coach Travis Phelps pulled Mlotkowski for Alex Wilson. Wilson gave up an RBI ground out, but Cohen followed with a double that scored two runs. Austin Thompson then singled to make it 5-0.
“When you walk the six, seven and eight hitters, what do you expect?” Phelps said. “You have to throw strikes. The bottom of their order got on and they drove them in. That’s the difference in the game, pure and simple.”
St. Petersburg (17-9) got a run back in the second when Matt Mainelli tripled, and Sam Goodis drove him in with a single.
In the fourth it became 5-3 when Jake Ferguson and Connor Labrie both recorded RBI singles. The inning ended when Aaron Haughton struck out with men on second and third.
Riverview tacked on a run in the fifth when St. Petersburg couldn’t complete a double play that allowed Thompson to score. The Green Devils used four pitchers (Mlotkowski, Wilson, Ferguson and Labrie).
St. Petersburg had a chance to score in the fifth but Goodis was thrown out at home with one out. In the final two innings, the Green Devils went down in order. They had 11 hits but could only manage three runs.
“We had guys in scoring position in the first four innings but couldn’t execute,” Phelps said. “We had a chance to come back in this game but we just couldn’t execute. We had two guys on with no outs and we couldn’t get them in. It’s tough to win that way.”
2A-8: Crusaders roll into regionals
ST. PETERSBURG — Emmanuel Rosario pitched six solid innings and Hunter Tomko had three RBIs to help lead Canterbury to a 10-4 win over Lakeside Christian in the Class 2A, District 8 final.
The Crusaders (12-11) will host Cambridge Christian on Thursday in the region quarterfinals. Lakeside Christian will travel to Bayshore Christian.
“Emmanuel has progressed all season and has become our No. 1 starter,” Canterbury coach John Frascatore said. “He’s really stepped up the last month or so and showed us something.”
Rosario gave up seven hits and four runs. Steven Winesett pitched the seventh inning for Canterbury. Noah Brunk was the losing pitcher for Lakeside Christian. Canterbury scored two runs in the first inning and six in the third to take an 8-0 lead.
Lakeside Christian chipped away and trailed 8-4 in the sixth before giving up two in the bottom of the inning.
This is the second straight district championship for Canterbury.