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Wiregrass Ranch coach Jeff Swymer gets first win

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Thu. February 18, 2010 | Izzy Gould | Email

Wiregrass Ranch's 2-1 win at Land O'Lakes on Tuesday was the first for coach Jeff Swymer.

The 29-year-old first-year-head-coach had spent seven years as an assistant at Riverview where he worked with pitchers. He landed at Riverview thanks to a job offer from a teammate from South Georgia College where he played baseball and earned his bachelor's degree.

Swymer had been a pitcher before his rotator cuff wore out ending his playing career.

Swymer's first night Tuesday making all the calls came in the ball yard of one of the North Suncoast's best teams. Gators ace Jason Garcia and Bulls ace John Michael Gant battled pitch for pitch.

The winning hit came in the sixth inning, a double cranked off the centerfield fence by Spencer Bowles to score Josh Johnson from first base. Swymer called on Johnson to steal on the 2-2 pitch with one out.

"It's exciting, especially to get your first win against a team like Land O'Lakes," Swymer said before Thursday game at rival Wesley Chapel. "It makes me real excited about our team and our season. We had a lot of kids, students and parents there. It was a big deal to the school."

igould@tampabay.com

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