Due to the threat of rain on Friday, the semifinals have been moved to today. Inspiration Academy of Bradenton will play CCC at 5 p.m. and Osceola will play Dunedin at 8 p.m. Consolation games will be played on two other fields at Englebert at the same times. The final is still set for 8 p.m. Saturday, weather permitting.
Osceola 9, Canterbury 2
CCC 10, Tampa Bay Christian 0
Pitchers of the day
Freshman Michael Paul made his first varsity start for the Marauders on Wednesday night, and he set the bar high. Paul threw five scoreless innings and allowed two hits to earn his first win. … Osceola started Corey Ireson against Canterbury. Ireson hasn’t pitched much this season, but against the Crusaders, he threw five shutout innings and scattered four hits.
Hitters of the day
Michael Kleinman had a big night for Osceola. Batting in the cleanup spot, Kleinman went 3-for-3 with a walk and drove in four runs. His single in the second inning drove in two runs, and his double in the fifth inning bounced off of the leftfield fence. … Teammate Jaret Helinger remains hot in the tournament. He was 3-for-4 with three RBIs, including a single in the fifth that drove in two runs. In two games, Helinger is 5-for-7 with four RBIs. … Dalton Shettle and Jeremy Rivera had RBI singles for Canterbury. … Andrew Murphy continued his hot hitting for CCC. He went 2-for-3 with a walk, RBI and two runs scored. … Brenden Overton was 2-for-2 with two RBIs for CCC. … Teammate David Paul had an RBI double as part of a six-run fifth inning that ended the Marauders’ game early.
Defensive gems of the day
There were two key plays in CCC’s win over Tampa Bay Christian. In the bottom of the first inning with two outs, CCC’s Andrew Mink was called safe on a play at first when it appeared he was tagged. Two runs scored after the play, and the Marauders were off and running. And in the fifth inning, Paul knocked down a hard-hit grounder by Mauricio Llovera, tracked it down and barely threw him out at first.
“Our mind-set has changed. We’re much more aggressive now.” — Kleinman, on how Osceola has picked up the offense after coach Stefan Futch told players to start swinging at first-pitch fastballs; Osceola has 22 hits combined in games against Pinellas Park and Canterbury.
“That was pretty much a perfect game for us. We got out to a lead early, and we were able to use a lot of players.” — Futch, on the 9-2 win over Canterbury.
“It’s going to be fun watching him go down the road as a sophomore, junior and senior.” — CCC coach Todd Vaughan, after watching Paul, a freshman, make his starting pitching debut against Tampa Bay Christian.