TAMPA — The numbers didn't lie. In two meetings this season Gaither had outscored King 34-6.
Thursday's Class 5A, District 9 final at Gaither figured to be another blowout. It was.
But this time the Lions rose to the occasion. They took advantage of some sloppy play early and went on to trounce Gaither 16-7.
King coach Jim Macaluso, who is in his 35th season with the Lions, said it was of the biggest wins in team history.
"I'd have to put it up there," he said. "A lot of things went our way tonight but that's sports. We just played great all around but I was really proud of our pitching staff."
The Lions (16-10) only gave up four hits and the defense made plays all night.
For the Cowboys, the four hits were one of two key numbers for coach Frank Permuy.
"We only had four hits but gave up six errors," Permuy said. "You just can't have more errors than hits. They (King) did what they were supposed to do and took advantage."
Gaither (21-4) made some errors early and after by the second inning King had jumped to a 5-0 lead. The Lions, who won their first district title since 2004, then scored three more runs in the fourth and fifth innings, then five in the sixth and seventh.