Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Baseball semifinalsClass 5A, District 7

5A-7 baseball: Land O'Lakes crushes Ridgewood

NEW PORT RICHEY — Of all the classic Land O'Lakes-Ridgewood baseball duels of the last quarter century, Wednesday night's Class 5A, District 7 semifinal isn't likely to go down in series lore.

To the contrary, this was Rams-Gators gore.

The top-seeded Gators (22-3) collected eight runs off as many hits before the game's second out was registered, and coasted to a 16-4 triumph halted after 41/2 innings by the 10-run mercy rule.

The Gators face Wesley Chapel in tonight's 7:30 final at River Ridge. Coach Calvin Baisley's hope for this evening: that his club brings the same bats, and considerably fewer balls.

Struggling with what appeared to be an exceptionally tight strike zone, Gators ace Trey Dahl (10-0) issued eight walks in four innings, the same number totaled by five Rams pitchers over the same span. Dahl was relieved by junior Zack May, who worked a scoreless fifth.

"Both (teams) struggled with the strike zone, I'll put it that way," Baisley said.

"My arm was good, my velocity was up there," added Dahl, who allowed only three hits and struck out three. "You get those kind of nights."

By contrast, the Gators batters consistently found their spots — the sweet ones. Every starter had at least one hit, with J.J. Downum, Matt Fuglesang, Steven Alvarez, Luis Renovalous and Derek Lynch recording multi-hit efforts.

"When we came out, I think the first six pitches, we must have had four nice hits and I was like, 'Wow, this is kind of nice,' " Baisley said. "We'll take that every game.

"We could've saved a few of those runs for (tonight)."

Fuglesang (7-2, 1.92 ERA) starts on the mound tonight against Wesley Chapel (10-13). The Wildcats clinched their first playoff berth Tuesday with a 3-2 win against host River Ridge on Jeremy Johnson's eighth-inning walk-off homer.

Land O'Lakes16

5A-7 baseball: Land O'Lakes crushes Ridgewood 04/23/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, April 23, 2008 10:54pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Joe Maddon gets warm reception in return to the Trop

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The night was arranged to honor former Rays manager Joe Maddon in his first visit back to the Trop, and the standing ovation from the bipartisan crowd and scoreboard video tribute seemed proper acknowledgments of his hefty role in the Rays' success during his nine-year stint.

    Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon (70) talks with reporters during a press conference before the start of the game between the Chicago Cubs and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017.
  2. Rays vs. Cubs, 7:10 p.m. Wednesday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Tonight: vs. Cubs

    7:10, Tropicana Field

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM; 680-AM (Spanish)

    Tampa Bay Rays' Blake Snell poses for a picture during the team's photo day at baseball spring training in Port Charlotte, Fla., Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
  3. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Tuesday's Rays-Cubs game

    The Heater

    Chris Archer's night ended with his 11th loss, but he and the Rays should feel good about his six solid innings. After the forearm tightness scare in Chicago, he had two rough outings (15 hits, 11 runs, seven innings), so Tuesday was a reassuring rebound.

  4. At 6-8, Lightning prospect Oleg Sosunov comes with, and needs, a high ceiling

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — When Hall of Famer Phil Esposito first saw Lightning prospect Oleg Sosunov, he joked that the 6-foot-8 defenseman could reach the Amalie Arena ceiling.

    Lightning 6-foot-8 defenseman Oleg Sosunov competes in the preseason opener. Phil Esposito jokes that Sosunov can reach the ceiling at Amalie Arena.
  5. Jones: Rays' Kevin Cash doesn't mind following in Joe Maddon's steps

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — On this particular night, he's the other guy. He's like a talk-show guest scooted to the end of the couch. He is Kevin Cash. And the Rays manager is standing in the home dugout at Tropicana Field.

    ST. PETERSBURG, FL - SEPTEMBER 17: Manager Kevin Cash (L) of the Tampa Bay Rays reacts to action during the game against the Boston Red Sox at Tropicana Field on September 17, 2017 in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Joseph Garnett Jr./Getty Images) 700012494