LUTZ — Dennis Lopez tossed a complete-game four-hitter to lead Jefferson past Steinbrenner 8-0 Thursday and into the Class 4A-9 district title game.
Lopez (7-0) recorded six strikeouts.
"I knew I was going to shut them down," Lopez said. "I came into the game confident and felt stronger as the game went on.
Kevin Cruz punished the Steinbrenner (18-6) pitchers, going 2-for-3 with a home run and four RBIs.
"We came out swinging and were able to get a couple of runs early. Our kids were focused, got some clutch hits and fielded the ball well," said coach Pop Cuesta, whose Dragons are 19-7.
Jesuit dominated Middleton 10-2, thanks to some timely hitting and a strong pitching performance by Daniel Gibson in the other semifinal.
Gibson pitched a complete game, surrendering nine hits and two runs while striking out a career-high 13 batters.
"I was just trying to put zeroes on the board every inning," Gibson said. "This is what I've trained for all year long, to make sure I've got legs in the seventh inning."
Jesuit (24-2) collected nine hits in the contest, five of which went for extra bases. Daniel Cooper was 2-for4 with a double and a home run, and Bobby Eveld had a pair of hits and two RBIs.
"We played okay tonight aside from a few uncharacteristic base-running and fielding mistakes. We keep on getting great starts from our starters and our guys continue to have the hunger," Jesuit coach Richie Warren said.