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: Brandon advances with region finals sweep

BRANDON — The team that was supposed to be a year away couldn't be denied, even throughout an offensive barrage that's rarely seen.

The last time Brandon won a region championship, most of the Eagles' seven starting sophomores were just 4 years old. In Friday's Class 5A region final against Winter Haven, the Eagles earned their first trip to states in 13 years in a two-game series that included 13 homers, beating the Blue Devils 9-8 and 10-6.

"It's just a great feeling because a lot of people doubted us," said Brandon first baseman Roderick Shoulders, who was 6-for-9 with six RBIs in the two games. "Everyone thought we wouldn't do this until next year."

The victories improved their winning streak to 16 games.

The Eagles (25-6) did it in improbable fashion, after losing the lead in Game 1 during a five-run Winter Haven sixth inning.

After leading 6-0, the Eagles trailed 8-7 heading into the bottom of the sixth until catcher Michael Smith hit his second home run of the game — one of five for Brandon in the opener.

Then Brandon coach Matt Stallbaumer went to senior Dan Trnka to stop the surging Blue Devils. Trnka stranded two in the seventh, and the Eagles took the game in the bottom half of the inning when an errant throw from shortstop sailed over the first baseman's head, scoring Chris Bradford from second.

"(Trnka) was unbelievable," Smith said. "Everyone said that we'd have to outscore teams, but it's our pitching that's been unbelievable late in games."

That win gave Brandon the momentum going into Game 2.

Brandon capitalized, hitting three more homers — including a second on the night from centerfielder James Ramsay — and getting a complete-game win from junior Cory Schools.

"This team has really come together this season," Schools said. "I think everyone's become men this year. We know how to succeed."

Smith, taking it in, shook his head. "The way we're playing now — we can't be beat."

Brandon9
Winter Haven8




Brandon10
Winter Haven6


Game 2

Game 1

5A: Brandon advances with region finals sweep 05/10/08 [Last modified: Monday, May 12, 2008 12:43pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Mikhail Sergachev begins real Lightning audition vs. Carolina Hurricanes

    Lightning Strikes

    RALEIGH, N.C. — The spotlight will remain on Mikhail Sergachev throughout the Lightning preseason.

    Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Mikhail Sergachev (98) on the ice during hockey training camp in preparation for the 2017-2018 season in Brandon Friday morning (09/15/17). DIRK SHADD   |   Times  

  2. Ryan Callahan: Brian Boyle will beat cancer diagnosis

    Blogs

    Ryan Callahan has been friends with Brian Boyle for a long-time, the two veterans playing together for seven years between the Rangers and the Lightning.

  3. Taylor Raddysh among first Lightning camp cuts

    Blogs

    Lightning forward prospect Taylor Raddysh was among the first cuts in camp, the team trimming its roster by six on Wednesday.

  4. Chris Archer, 25,000 Cubs fans and Tampa Bay's painful truth

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The biggest ovation inside Tropicana Field on Tuesday night was not for Cubs manager Joe Maddon, who was returning for the first time since managing the Rays.

    "W" flags fly in the stands after the game between the Chicago Cubs and the Rays Tuesday at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg. [WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times]
  5. A rendering of the Bucs' indoor practice facility.