CLEARWATER — With two of the better teams in the state squaring off, at the very least the battle of Pinellas County was going to be settled.
And after three-run fourth inning broke the game open, it was. Dunedin, taking advantage of a few Seminole mistakes, posted a 4-0 win in the Class 5A, District 11 championship at Jack Russell Stadium.
In taking its fifth straight district crown and 11th in 13 years under coach Tom Hilbert, Dunedin improved to 23-3 on the season. Seminole (22-5) saw its six-game win streak come to an end.
"That's Dunedin-Seminole," Hilbert said. "They're a good club. We know we always have to battle them."
Dunedin got on the board in the third when Alex Norris singled to left to score Mike Tipton. The Falcons added to their lead an inning later when Ben Emery scored on a wild pitch, followed by Chase Smith and Casey Turgeon pounding out RBI singles.
Seminole, which had just two base runners reach second, couldn't seem to get its offense untracked as Dunedin pitchers Mike Clarkson and Colyn O'Connell kept them off balance. Clarkson allowed just three hits and struck out six over six innings. O'Connell finished the game by striking out two of the three batters he faced.
"We're playing good baseball right now," said Hilbert, whose team split its regular-season games against Seminole. "Now we have to come out, play hard, hope the kids are focused and make plays.
"Right now, we're doing that."