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CLEARWATER — Through four innings of Friday’s Class 7A, District 10 final at Countryside, it appeared David could actually slay Goliath. But in the fifth inning, reality set in.
Not only did top-seeded Seminole spoil Clearwater starter Colin Lonsberry’s perfect game, it put up eight runs on eight hits and blew the game open. Brett Phillips ended it an inning later with a three-run homer as Seminole won 11-0.
“We were hitting the ball the whole game, but in the first four innings we were hitting the ball right at them,” Phillips said. “Nobody panicked or anything because we knew we were hitting the ball. We figured we’d get some runs. Not eight runs, but we knew we’d get some runs.”
Like Lonsberry, Seminole starter Alex McGathey was effective early. After getting out of a bases-loaded jam in the first, McGathey settled down and allowed only two hits in six innings pitched.
Michael Mann broke up the perfect game in the fifth with a leadoff double. Adam Atkinson followed with a double of his own to make it 1-0.
With Atkinson on third, Jordan Doyle knocked him in with a sacrifice fly to center. The flood gates opened one out later when McGathey hit a three-run single that made the game 5-0. Mann came up again in the fifth and drove in a run, as did Atkinson.
In the inning, Seminole (24-4) sent 12 batters to the plate and got eight hits.
“We adjusted,” Seminole coach Jeff Pincus said. “That’s what we’ve done all year. We adjust to what the pitcher is doing.”
In the sixth, with two on and one out, Phillips sent a Quinn Blauvelt pitch way over the rightfield fence to trigger the 10-run mercy rule.
“We thought Colin could give us about 50 pitches and that’s just about what he had when they started scoring,” Clearwater coach Ken Clawson said. “It’s hard to play three games in a week like we did. But hey, we’re still moving on and these seniors have never done that.”
5A-12: Falcons fly back to top of the heap
DUNEDIN — One year removed from a region berth, Dunedin fashioned a complete-game effort, cruising past Bradenton Bayshore 9-0 Friday to earn the Class 5A, District 12 title — the Falcons’ first since 2010.
“We were away from this for a year, which seems like a very long time,” Dunedin coach Tom Hilbert said.
Pitcher Aaron Chesson (6-2) helped Dunedin (19-7) set the tone on the mound. The hard-throwing righty struck out seven, allowing only two hits and two walks.
“I just came out there and did my thing, and I was confident,” Chesson said. “I have a great defense behind me, everyone did their job and I did my job.”
The Falcons’ offense labored in the first two innings, stranding three runners in scoring position, but Dunedin quickly figured out Bayshore (14-13) pitcher Daniel Schroder.
Mac LeBoeuf got Dunedin’s offense rolling in the third with an RBI single to centerfield. Chesson followed it up with a two-run double to left, breaking the game open. Dunedin crossed four in the third, four in the fourth, and one in the sixth.
“Sooner or later somebody’s going to come through in our lineup,” Hilbert said. “The hit by LeBoeuf with two strikes in the third inning was a big hit.”
Brian Anderson led the Falcons in hitting, going 4-for-4 with three singles, a double, and two RBIs. Chesson was also impressive swinging the bat, going 2-for-4 with two RBIs.
3A-9: SPC cruises
ST. PETERSBURG — After splitting the regular-season series, St. Petersburg Catholic took advantage of eight Calvary Christian walks en route to an 11-1 Class 3A-9 championship win.
“Early on in the season we weren’t taking walks,” Barons coach John Vigue said. “The last two weeks we’ve become more patient and gotten quality at-bats.”
The Warriors scored their only run in the first inning. Will Gerdes walked the first two batters and after a fielder’s choice, Dakota Hofmann hit a ball to third that was mishandled and allowed David Ell to score.
SPC responded with three runs in the bottom of the first, scored another run in the third and tacked on three more in the fourth. Ryan Mueller reached on an error and scored on a double by Dakota Sarafin. Sarafin moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on a sacrifice fly by Jacob McFadden. Max Geller walked, stole second and scored on a single by Jimmy Lynch.
SPC put the game away with three runs in the fifth.
Gerdes pitched all five innings and sent the Warriors down in order in the third, fourth and fifth innings. Geller turned an unassisted double play in the second to get SPC out of another jam.
“(Gerdes) has been our guy all year,” Vigue said. “I think he had some jitters but Geller picked us up. Will then got settled and pounded the zone.”
“Give credit to SPC,” coach Greg Olsen added. “They played a great game. I’m proud of my guys and excited we get to play again Wednesday.”
6A-12: Warriors falter vs. familiar nemesis
Osceola could not hold a two-run lead in the bottom of the seventh and lost to Lakewood Ranch 6-5 in eight innings Friday.
Josh Townsend went 3-for-4 with a double to lead the Warriors. Evan Hock had a go-ahead two-run triple that put Osceola (20-5) up 5-3 in the seventh. It was the second time this season Osceola has lost to Lakewood Ranch. They lost 2-0 earlier in the month.
7 p.m. unless noted
7A: Freedom at Seminole
7A: Clearwater vs. Gaither
5A: Robinson at Dunedin
3A: Calvary Christian at Cardinal Mooney, 4
3A: Sarasota Out-of-Door at St. Petersburg Catholic
8A: Durant at East Lake
6A: Sebring at Tarpon Springs
6A: Osceola at King
2A: Canterbury at Naples First Baptist, 4
Correspondents Basil Spyridakos and Nathan Cowan contributed to this report.