ST. PETERSBURG — Northside Christian primed itself this season for the Class 2A playoffs by playing several top-level teams and it appears the Mustangs are rearing their heads at the right time.
Northside, which easily defeated Admiral Farragut twice during the regular season, took an inning to get their offense going but once it did, made quick work of the Blue Jackets, winning a Class 2A-11 district semifinal 10-0 in five innings Tuesday.
David Edwards tossed five scoreless innings and did not allow a runner to reach second.
"It's nice to finally get here," said Edwards, who was 2-for-3 from the plate, including an RBI triple. "We played such a tough schedule this year that it's nice to use that experience here in the playoffs. It prepared us well and we feel we have the talent and experience to reach states."
Following a one-run inning in the second, the Mustangs chased Farragut starter Jacob Jones in the third when they plated four runs, highlighted by Hunter Habib's two-run double. After the Mustangs scored a run in the fourth, they ended things in the fifth with four runs.
In the other semifinal, Shorecrest, down 2-1 against Bradenton St. Stephen's, loaded the bases with two outs in the bottom of the seventh but Jason Kiracofe's line drive to center ended up in an outfielder's glove. The Chargers left two on base in the first, fifth and sixth innings as well.
Marc Brakeman did all he could to keep Shorecrest in the game, allowing one earned run in a complete-game effort with seven strikeouts and one walk.
Brakeman was also instrumental in the Chargers' only run with an RBI single in the third to score Brent Rasmussen.