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)

Class 5A

5A baseball: Plant splits with Charlotte

PUNTA GORDA — The rain pelting their hats hit harder than any wake-up call.

Plant's players will crawl out of beds at a worn, weathered hotel more than 100 miles from their cozy South Tampa homes after splitting Friday's first two games of the Class 5A best-of-three region final against Charlotte.

Like the weather, Plant was hot then cold.

The Panthers (23-8) eked out a 2-1 extra-innings win in Game 1 but were stymied at the plate in a 5-3 loss in Game 2. The winner of today's 1 p.m. game goes to the state semifinals.

Three of Plant's past six games have come with the threat of elimination, so it believes it thrives under pressure.

"It's been this way since the playoffs started," pitcher Jake Lowe said. "I think it suits us better when these close games mean a lot. We're ready to go. I wouldn't have it any other way."

After Friday's games, Plant coach Dennis Braun said all three of his aces should be available.

Lowe, who pitched a solid Game 1, went six innings with a huge effort in his final three outs. With runners on second and third and no outs, he struck out three of the next four batters to end the threat. He allowed three hits and struck out six for the game. Sergio Pita, who will start today, ultimately finished off the Tarpons (21-11) for the win.

Offensively, Conner Mitchell won the game when he stroked a single up the middle in the eighth inning to score Mike Demo from second. Mitchell also singled in the third inning for a 1-0 lead, driving in Conner Shimberg.

In Game 2, Plant believed it had the upper hand with ace Mychal Givens headed to the mound. Givens pitched solidly but committed three throwing errors that led to runs and a 3-0 deficit.

After four innings, Givens moved to shortstop, having allowed four hits and striking out eight. Dylan Henderson came on and helped the Panthers scrape together its first run in the fourth with an RBI single.

Plant got two more runs on singles by Shimberg and Demo but stranded two at third.

"This team plays loose, and they've grinded all year," Braun said. "We played as many close games as we'll probably play in five years. They know how to be in that situation. They know how to react."

XXXXX
XXXXX

5A baseball: Plant splits with Charlotte 05/15/09 [Last modified: Friday, May 15, 2009 11:13pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Cup-winning Lightning captain Dave Andreychuk makes Hockey Hall of Fame

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Hall of Fame coach Scotty Bowman said Dave Andreychuk's name has surfaced often the past eight years with the selection committee.

    30 Oct 2001:  Left wing Dave Andreychuk #25 of the Tampa Bay Lightning skates towards the blue line during the NHL game against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Canada.  The Maple Leafs defeated the Lightning 3-2.  Mandatory Credit:  Dave Sanford /Allsport
  2. Rays acquire slick-fielding shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria from Marlins

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Chaim Bloom said the Rays weren't necessarily in the market for a shortstop. The team has a number of those. But when the Marlins recently began shopping Adeiny Hechavarria, well, that was too much to pass up.

    Adeiny Hechavarria has emerged as one of baseball’s top defensive shortstops in the past three seasons with the Marlins.
  3. Rays at Pirates, 7:05 p.m. Tuesday, Pittsburgh

    The Heater

    Tonight: at Pirates

    7:05, PNC Park

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    Probable pitchers

    Rays: Alex Cobb (6-5, 4.05)

    PORT CHARLOTTE, FL - FEBRUARY 18:  Alex Cobb #53 of the Tampa Bay Rays poses for a portrait during the Tampa Bay Rays photo day on February 18, 2017 at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Floida.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
  4. Lightning journal: Forward Yanni Gourde agrees to two-year deal

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Just three years ago, Yanni Gourde was fighting to stay in pro hockey.

    Tampa Bay Lightning center Yanni Gourde celebrates after scoring against the Florida Panthers during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Saturday, March 11, 2017, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara) TPA108
  5. What they're saying about Dave Andreychuk making Hall of Fame

    Lightning Strikes

    "Dave helped me so much when I was just starting my career, a young kid that was looking to find his way as a hockey player, a person and a member of the Tampa Bay community. In addition to watching him compile such awe-inspiring statistics, I remember him as a big brother to me and many others, making sure all the …