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5A-7 baseball: Springstead clinches region spot for first time since 1996

Central’s Josh Colon leaps over Springstead’s James Wright as he misses the throw, allowing Wright to advance to second base.

WILL VRAGOVIC | Times

Central’s Josh Colon leaps over Springstead’s James Wright as he misses the throw, allowing Wright to advance to second base.

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SPRING HILL — With the wind blowing, it was a power surge that helped Springstead reach the state playoffs for the first time since 1996 with a victory over its county rival.

The Eagles defeated Central 10-0 in only six innings via the 10-run rule in the Class 5A, District 7 semifinals Tuesday night.

Springstead (20-4) elected to start ace Brett Maggard with a spot in the region quarterfinals on the line, and the junior did not disappoint.

He tossed five innings of two-hit shutout ball, walking only one and striking out six. In the sixth inning, Maggard also hit the two-run homer to rightfield that put the Eagles up 9-0.

"Brett didn't have his best stuff early, but from the second inning on, he was great," Springstead coach Frank Vitale said. "He was also pretty good with the bat."

The other two round-trippers for Springstead came from Chris Churay (3-for-3, home run) and Patrick Dwyer (3-for-4, home run, double, three RBIs, two runs scored). The senior outfielders both hit their home runs in the second inning as the home team knocked Central starter J.T. Simpson out of the game.

"Our plan was to be loud, jump on (Simpson) early and put him away," Dwyer said. "I really wanted to have a big night for my team to help us get to region."

In convincing fashion, Springstead jumped on Central (6-20) and ended a 14-year state playoff drought. Jimmy Diven, substituting for older brother Jack, hit the game-ending RBI single to knock in Julian Perez in the bottom of the sixth.

5A-7 baseball: Springstead clinches region spot for first time since 1996 04/27/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, April 27, 2010 10:45pm]
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