Grand ending turns grim
March Madness wielded a Louisville Slugger in Land O’Lakes on Friday. Down by seven runs entering the seventh, Cambridge Christian’s baseball team rallied to tie the score before falling 11-10 in nine innings to Land O’Lakes. Senior Jake Purcell’s seventh-inning grand slam tied the score at 8 and forced the extra innings.
“The biggest thing for our kids is to just know they’re always in it,” said Lancers coach Sam Marsonek, whose team had eked out a 1-0 win against Brooks-DeBartolo only 24 hours before. “We just want them to compete to the end no matter what.”
The Class 2A Lancers (6-2) took a 10-8 lead in the top of the ninth on Spencer Wynn’s two-run shot to right-center, but the 6A Gators (7-1) rallied for three runs in the bottom of the inning behind a sequence of seeing-eye singles and miscues.
Standout performances from Friday night
Ricky Escobar, Jesuit: The senior went 3-for-3 with two doubles, a homer and three RBIs in the Tigers’ five-inning, 12-0 rout of Blake. Pitchers Conor O’Brien and Jordan Parnell merit honorable mention status for teaming for a no-hitter.
Derek Martin, Tampa Catholic: The senior right-hander threw six shutout innings and struck out eight in a 4-0 win at Berkeley Prep. Classmate Luke Helms worked the seventh and added a two-run double.
Jake Purcell, Cambridge Christian: The Lancers senior hit a seventh-inning grand slam to cap a seven-run rally and force extra innings at Land O’Lakes.
Kellee Ramsey, Steinbrenner: The sophomore ace tossed a one-hitter and doubled in the Warriors softball team’s 2-0 win against Gaither.
Tanner Richardson, Seffner Christian: The Crusaders leadoff hitter collected four singles in as many at-bats, scored three runs and stole four bases in his team’s 8-3 victory against Carrollwood Day.
Colin Woody, Wharton: In arguably the county’s top performance of the night, the 6-foot-1 senior tossed a complete game and hit a seventh-inning two-run homer to propel the Wildcats to a 6-4 win against Bloomingdale.
Brittany Johnson, Sickles: The Gryphons' senior co-captain had a bases-loaded triple in an 8-6 loss at Strawberry Crest
By the numbers
4 Extra-base hits by Lennard’s softball team, led by freshman Taylor Kelly’s home run, in its 19-1 romp of Middleton
5 Home runs tallied by Jesuit in its five-inning shutout of Blake. Ricky Escobar, Nolan Schultz, Leland Saile, Will Jennings and Vincent Miniet accounted for the blasts.
7 Days until first pitch in the 32nd annual Saladino Baseball Tournament