MORE from our HomeTeam writers.
TAMPA — Check one postseason goal off Jesuit’s list.
With a 9-2 win over Robinson in the Class 5A, District 11 title game, the Tigers won their district for, believe it or not, the first time in five years. The win Friday gave coach Richie Warren his second district crown in six seasons and, additionally, the first championship of any kind to Jesuit’s senior class, which boasts seven Division I signees and 12 members total.
“It’s different to win something,” said first baseman Max Beermann, who signed with Villanova. “Runnerup the past couple of years in districts and in states, that’s obviously frustrating, and to be able to come out on top, that’s always great.”
No Tigers player was hotter in the first two games of the postseason than Beermann, who went 4-for-7 (.571) with two home runs and six RBIs. The latter of the two long balls came in the first inning against the Knights (11-13) as he drove in Nolan Schultz and Adrian Chacon to give Jesuit a 6-0 lead before Robinson was able to record the first out.
For the 6-foot-5 Beermann, who started wearing glasses over the summer — ”a big transition,” he said — the recent success is a welcome departure from the regular season, which he finished hitting .250 with two multi-hit games in the 22 total he played. He’s already matched that mark this postseason.
“Now he’s starting to play with a little more confidence,” Warren said. “If we can get him and Lance (McCullers) going at the same time for these next five games, that’s a pretty tough stretch in our lineup.”
McCullers drove in the first run of the game and moved Spencer Trayner into scoring position with a single in the third. Trayner came home when the next batter, Schultz, hit a fly to left, giving Jesuit (25-1) a 7-0 edge.
Robinson, which loaded the bases in the top of the third before starter John Kilichowski induced a 5-4-3 double play, scored its two runs in the sixth off reliever Conor O’Brien when Darius Autry doubled to left.
Autry did in one at-bat what all five 5A-11 teams failed to do during the regular season: score more than one run against the Tigers.
3A-8: Dramatic finish for Tampa Prep
Host Bishop McLaughlin had beaten Tampa Prep in the district title game each of the past two seasons. This year, though, thanks to a few extra innings, the Terrapins knocked off the Hurricanes with a 3-2 win in nine innings for the Class 3A-8 title. Senior Durin O’Linger pitched threw a 120-pitch complete game for Tampa Prep.
“That’s way more than I wanted him to throw, but him being a senior, he didn’t want to come out of the game,” Tampa Prep coach A.J. Hendrix said. “If we didn’t score there, he was going to be out of the game, so I was glad we were able to get that hit for him.”
The winning hit came courtesy of senior Tyler Jarrell, who went 3-for-5 with two RBIs. His double in the third was the tying hit, as the Terrapins quickly earned back the two runs they had spotted Bishop McLaughin in the opening inning.
“It was basically two heavyweights going at it toe to toe,” Hurricanes coach Tom LoSauro said. “We had several chances to win. They made great plays to stop us.”
Bishop got its only two runs with a two-out base hit by Tanner Koch. The Hurricanes’ best chance came in the fifth inning with a base hit by Koch, but Watson Ransom gunned down Josh Falk at home from leftfield.
7 p.m. unless noted
7A: Freedom at Seminole
7A: Clearwater at Gaither
7A: Riverview at Lakeland George Jenkins
7A: Haines City at Brandon
5A: Robinson at Dunedin
5A: Bradenton Bayshore at Jesuit
3A: Fort Meade at Tampa Prep
8A: Sarasota Riverview at Wharton
8A: Durant at East Lake
6A: Sickles at Lakewood Ranch
6A: Osceola at King
4A: Tampa Catholic at Avon Park
4A: Frostproof at Berkeley Prep
2A: Bayshore Christian at Winter Haven All Saints’, 7
2A: Lakeland Sonrise Christian at Cambridge (Doc Nance Field), 4