ST. PETERSBURG — Last week, Canterbury got past its biggest district tormenter, knocking off Cambridge in the Class A-9 final.
But the Crusaders could not get past another spoiler in the region quarterfinals.
Sarasota Christian, which beat Canterbury in the postseason three straight seasons from 2006-08, did it again with an 11-10 victory Tuesday.
The Crusaders trailed 11-7 going into the bottom of the seventh and rallied with three runs, including a two-run double by Jake Holsinger. With two outs, DaSean Thomas doubled and represented the tying run. But the next batter flew out to end the game.
“We let some runs score and had some defensive lapses,” Canterbury coach Jared Lewis said. “But the biggest thing is we kept battling. We would fall behind and would keep getting those runs back. I honestly thought we were either going to tie it or pull it out in the end.”
The Crusaders (17-10) allowed two in the first before coming back to score four in the bottom half of the inning.
The Blazers appeared to break open the game with two runs in the third inning and five more in the fifth to go ahead 9-4.
Once again Canterbury rallied, scoring three in the fourth to cut the deficit to 9-7.
Sarasota added two insurance runs in the seventh. That set up the Crusaders’ late-inning dramatics that fell short.
The teams combined for 20 hits. The Blazers had 11 of them and Canterbury had to use three pitchers.
“Usually when we get down, we stay down,” Lewis said. “But the guys had a lot of energy and there was some real aggression at the plate. It was just unfortunate we were not able to score enough runs at the end to pull through.”