CLEARWATER — After seven innings of brilliantly played baseball Tuesday night, something had to give.
For Clearwater Central Catholic, it was its 26-game winning streak, its undefeated season and a berth in the Class 3A region final.
Spurred on by an outstanding 127-pitch, complete game from Daniel Broeseker, batterymate Tommy Georgevich rewarded the senior with an opposite-field double that scored Ray Hansen in the top of the eighth inning, leading to Calvary Christian’s 3-0 victory.
And after erasing the memory of three losses to the Marauders (26-1), the Warriors (22-7) will head south Friday to face Fort Myers Canterbury in the region final.
“With a runner on second base (after a single and Calvary’s third successful sacrifice bunt) I was just looking for a pitch to hit,” said Georgevich, who reached base three times. “(CCC starter David Paul) kept throwing me fastballs away and he threw a pitch I was looking for.”
Georgevich rifled the ball over first base for the winner, then scored along with Graham Hoffman (intentional walk) on Grant McDaniel’s double off reliever Michael Paul.
“The longer the game went on, the more confident we got,” Georgevich said. “We were making plays, momentum was going our way, we knew we could beat them.”
Broeseker, working with a dazzling curve and stellar control, yielded a one-out single to Brendan Overton in the eighth but rode his ninth strikeout and a groundout to the emotional win.
“(CCC’s) a good team but I had everyone behind me,” Broeseker said. “I wasn’t going to quit. It’s surreal but I knew our team could do it.”
“Daniel was just about out of gas, but the kid was all heart out there. He gave us everything,” Warrior coach Greg Olsen said of a pitcher that battled out of multi-runner jams in the fourth and seventh innings.
Marauders coach Todd Vaughan said, “I told the kids after the game, thank you for your efforts. You left it all on the field and (Calvary) earned what they got. There are no regrets.”