TAMPA — Armwood held off a Brandon rally to win 6-4 and claim the Class 5A-8 title. The Hawks jumped on the Eagles early Thursday, scoring all six of their runs in the first two innings.
The first blow came in the top of the first, as Armwood catcher Josh Spano connected for a grand slam. The home run was Spano's first of the season.
"I was expecting a fastball and it just felt good when I hit it," Spano said. "I hit a few home runs last year; it's about time I hit one this season."
Armwood (22-5) added to its lead in the second inning when leadoff hitter Billy Farrell smashed a homer, driving in Jordan Fameree.
"I told the guys to be aggressive and hit the first strikes they see," Armwood coach Mike Wrenn said. "After we were up by six runs we had to stay aggressive and keep working hard."
Brandon (20-6) rallied in the bottom of the fifth. Michael Smith crushed a two-run home run to close the gap to two, but Armwood clamped down, shutting out Brandon the rest of the way.
Sean Cramer started for the Hawks, pitching 42/3 innings and tallying four strikeouts to earn the victory.
"I honestly didn't have my best stuff tonight; I fell behind a lot of the hitters," Cramer said. "I just pounded the strike zone, battled with everything I had and it was enough for us to get the win."
Armwood's Tyler Alexander struck out five over the final 21/3 innings to earn the save.