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4A baseball: Pasco loses focus after coach leaves game

DADE CITY — With one last swing of the bat Pasco's Jake Schrader hit the final home run of his high school career. The seventh-inning shot was about the only bright spot for the Pirates as they fell 9-4 to Eustis on Tuesday in the Class 4A region quarterfinal.

Pirates coach Ricky Giles left the game due to dehydration during a rain delay in the top of the third inning.

"To be honest with you the thought was there (that something more serious might be wrong with Giles)," interim coach Joe Neal said. "He is like a grandfather to some of these guys out here and they play their heart and soul out here for him."

Giles, 55, was taken to Pasco Regional Medical Center in Dade City for treatment.

Pasco struggled throughout the night without its longtime coach on the bench. Eustis led 4-0 going into the rain delay, but when action resumed in the third, Pasco (20-8) answered with a home run from Cole Stancil (2-for-3, double) to cut the lead to three.

But Panthers pitcher Zach Oliver frustrated the Pirates all night, as he struck out six batters while pitching a complete game.

The dagger came in the top of the sixth inning when Mitch Okey stepped up with the bases loaded and one out and hit a grand slam over the leftfield fence, leaving Pasco fans and players stunned and giving Eustis (15-14) a 9-3 lead.

Schrader's home run in the bottom of the seventh inning ended his high school career on a good note.

"It is a great way to go out, but I would trade it for a win any day," Schrader said.

Sharks can't keep up in 9-2 loss

At Orlando, Nature Coast's youthful lineup — featuring only two senior starters — couldn't provide enough offense to keep up with central Florida juggernaut Bishop Moore in a 9-2 defeat.

The Sharks (13-9) took a 1-0 lead on John Russell's home run before the Hornets (23-4) scored nine unanswered runs. Matt Adams, who led off the seventh with a double, came home on Jack Diven's single for Nature Coast's only other run.

Nature Coast left-handed senior Mike Adams (6-2) sustained the loss, working five innings.

4A baseball: Pasco loses focus after coach leaves game 05/05/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, May 5, 2009 11:28pm]

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