CLEARWATER — Calvary Christian must have known something the rest of us didn’t.
Just before Clearwater Central Catholic righty David Paul threw his first pitch to Sarasota Out-of-Door, Calvary tweeted it beat Sarasota Cardinal Mooney 5-1 and would face the Marauders on Tuesday in the Class 3A region semifinals.
A little more than two hours later, the tweet came true as three big innings powered CCC to a 12-3 victory over the Thunder.
“I kind of anticipated this is how it was going to go out,” Marauders coach Todd Vaughan said. “I didn’t plan on seeing Cardinal Mooney. I planned on seeing Calvary Christian.”
CCC’s offense (11 hits, six walks and a hit batter) made the road to the semis smooth. All but one player reached base. Zuriel Collins had four singles and three RBIs. Andrew Mink had two doubles to plate three, and Paul used two singles to drive in two.
“We came out swinging in the first inning, (scoring four runs),” said Mink as CCC (26-0) added five runs in the fourth and three in the sixth. “We have a lot more success when we score early, and it was good for (Paul) to get him an early lead.”
Paul allowed three runs — only one earned — on five hits over five innings to the Thunder (17-6). Joey Messina allowed one hit over two innings.
“I think (Calvary and CCC) are the two teams that are deserving (to advance) from what I know about the other districts,” Vaughan said. “To me, if you’re going to win, you beat the best. Then you can walk off the field and say, ‘Yeah, I earned everything I got.’ ”
More 3A: Daniel Broeseker scattered three hits, struck out 10 and threw 130 pitches as visiting Calvary Christian (21-7) defeated Cardinal Mooney 5-1.
Cardinal Mooney sophomore right-hander Spencer Stevens suffered from heat cramps in the second inning, then rolled an ankle fielding a sacrifice bunt off the bat of Calvary Christian’s Jake Richardson in the top of the third. Cardinal Mooney coach Greg Mulhollen turned to his bullpen and junior right-hander Parker MacPhail.
After a shaky first inning and down 1-0, Broeseker settled in and retired the next 11 batters, including striking out the side in the fourth inning.
Information from the Herald-Tribune was used in this report.