ST. PETERSBURG — Any thoughts Dixie Hollins and Lakewood entertained of pulling upsets Wednesday and advancing to the final of the 5A-11 district tournament were emphatically extinguished by stellar pitching performances from Osceola's Taylor Layner and Seminole's Tim Lamoureux.
Layner tossed a three-hitter and allowed only one runner to reach second in Osceola's 4-0 win over Dixie Hollins. The lefty fanned 12, barely missing his season-high strikeout total of 13. Osceola will advance to the region tournament for the first time since 2003.
"I just wanted to help my team out," Layner said. "We all play as a team and win as a team."
T.J. Glessner and Josh Townsend stroked back-to-back RBI singles for Osceola (19-6) in the first inning to stake Layner to a 2-0 lead.
In the second, Adam Lewis sent Mark Danna's pitch into rightfield to score Trent Campbell. Layner then laced a standup double to the wall in right-center to bring home Lewis.
That was all the support Layner would need as he cruised to his seventh victory of the season against zero losses. About the only blemish on an otherwise complete victory was the Warriors' inability to generate offense after the second.
"The only negative thing about this ball club is they know Winston (Rivas) and they know Taylor are going to get it done," Osceola coach Kevin Mullins said. "Well, one of these days, Taylor and Winston aren't going to be there. … They do that starting next Tuesday against the better teams in the state in the playoffs, we're going to be one and done."
Osceola will play Seminole on Friday night for the 5A-11 championship after the Warhawks battered Lakewood 10-0 in a game that was called after five innings because of the mercy rule.
The Warhawks (20-7) are playoff veterans, having advanced 12 straight years to the postseason.
Lamoureux struck out five in five innings and scattered three hits.
Seminole had 10 hits in the victory. The Warhawks batted around in the third, scoring seven runs and increasing their lead to 10-0.
Michael Carlin went 3-for-3 with a double and two RBIs for Seminole. Lamoureux was 2-for-3 with a double and an RBI.