Make us your home page
Instagram

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

(View our Privacy Policy)

5A baseball: Jesuit knocks out defending champions

DUNEDIN — He looked tired at times.

Sometimes wild. Other times vulnerable.

But you can say this about Jesuit lefty Daniel Gibson: that just might be when he's at his best.

Working his way in and out of trouble, Gibson's pitching and an offense sparked by the return of injured leader Nick Lockwood was enough to get Jesuit back to winning as they beat defending Class 5A state champion Dunedin 6-3 Tuesday night at the Englebert Complex to set up another showdown with district rival Plant.

The Tigers (26-2) were ranked No. 1 in the country for much of the season, but had dropped two of their past four games — and squeaked by teams with losing records in both wins — coming into the region playoffs.

But they wasted little time righting themselves, scoring four runs — three on two-out base hits — in the top of the first inning, then Gibson did the rest.

He struck out the leadoff batter in four of the 6.2 innings he pitched, and stranded six to pick up his ninth win this season.

Though his two-seam fastball was his best pitch and produced a number of high choppers for outs, he was clutch with the strikeouts when he needed them.

He struck out Dunedin's most dangerous hitter, Casey Turgeon, with the bases loaded to end the fourth after Dunedin got within 5-2, then struck out the side in the sixth inning despite allowing two singles.

"It definitely helped to get those four runs in the first inning," Gibson said. "The key was having Lockwood back at the top of the lineup."

Lockwood, who has been out with a badly sprained ankle, was hit by a pitch to start the game and scored on Joe Hudson's grounder to make it 1-0. With two outs, Jesuit came up with three straight RBI hits — a double by Jimmy Falla and singles by Lance McCullers and Joey Spack — to put the Falcons (21-7) in a hole they couldn't fly out of.

Jesuit's 5-9 hitters went 4-for-9 with three runs scored and four RBI.

A double by Dunedin's Ben Emery — one of only two senior starters for a Dunedin team that lost eight of nine starters from last year's state championship team — made it 6-3 in the seventh and brought up Alex Libby with a chance to tie with a homer, but McCullers, a freshman, came in and struck him out for his sixth save.

5A baseball: Jesuit knocks out defending champions 05/06/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, May 6, 2009 12:04am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rowdies shut out at Pittsburgh

    Soccer

    PITTSBURGH — The Rowdies lost their first USL game in nearly a month, 1-0 to Pittsburgh on Thursday night.

  2. LSU's Paul Mainieri defends FSU's Mike Martin; Gators play Friday

    College

    OMAHA, Neb. — LSU coach Paul Mainieri says whether Florida State's Mike Martin ever wins a national championship should have no bearing on how his long career in college baseball is judged.

    MADE IT: Josh Watson beats the tag of Louisville catcher Colby Fitch during TCU’s 4-3 win in the College World Series.
  3. Lightning fans, don't get attached to your first-round draft picks

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — When Lightning GM Steve Yzerman announces his first-round pick tonight in the amateur draft at No. 14, he'll invite the prospect onto the stage for the once-in-a-lifetime photo opportunity.

    Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Jonathan Drouin (27) eludes  Montreal Canadiens left wing Phillip Danault (24) during the second period of Wednesday???‚??„?s (12/28/16) game between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Montreal Canadiens at the Amalie Arena in Tampa.
  4. Lightning GM Steve Yzerman also has top-9 wing on his wish list

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — Much has been made about the Lightning's interest in bolstering its blue line, even after last week's acquisition of defense prospect Mikhail Sergachev.

    Tampa Bay Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman gestures as he speaks to the media about recent trades during a news conference before an NHL hockey game against the Carolina Hurricanes Wednesday, March 1, 2017, in Tampa, Fla. The Lightning, over the past few days, have traded goaltender Ben Bishop to the Los Angeles Kings, forward Brian Boyle to the Toronto Maple Leafs, and forward Valtteri Filppula to the Philadelphia Flyers. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara) TPA101