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5A-9 baseball: Gaither, King advance to final

TAMPA — Gaither's Mike Danner tied a school record for RBIs in a season and Alex Milne remained unbeaten Wednesday in an 8-2 Class 5A, District 9 semifinal win over Chamberlain.

King defeated Sickles 6-2 in the other semifinal to set up tonight's championship game at 7 between the host Cowboys and Lions.

Danner went 3-for-4 with a double and two RBIs. His second and 39th of the season tied the mark set by Julian Colson in 1996.

"It means a lot to me to get that," said Danner, a senior third baseman.

Danner has a shot at becoming Gaither's single-season RBI leader in tonight's game or the regions but said, "I'm not going to stress over it. I'm just going to play my game."

Milne improved to 8-0. The left-hander went 52/3 innings, allowing just three hits and two earned runs.

Trailing 5-0, Chamberlain (7-17) finally got on the scoreboard in the top of the sixth when Brett Gordon followed David Perrone's double with a two-run home run.

Gaither (21-3) had 12 hits and forced Chamberlain to use five pitchers.

Four of the Cowboys' hits came in a three-run third that snapped a scoreless tie. Danner and Alejandro Brunet, who finished with two hits and two RBIs, had run-scoring singles in the inning.

Gil Leon reached and scored in each of his three at-bats. He doubled in the third, was hit in the fourth and walked during a three-run sixth.

"Once we got it going, it just kind of snowballed," Gaither coach Frank Permuy said. "This is the best hitting team we've had."

King won, in part, because of its season-high eight stolen bases. Kory Sullivan led the Lions (15-10) with two RBIs.

Sickles (12-12) got run-scoring hits from Tripp Merrell and Logan Grosso.

5A-9 baseball: Gaither, King advance to final 04/28/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, April 28, 2010 11:53pm]
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