BRADENTON — Heading into the season, Bradenton Christian knew little about its new slate of district opponents.
What the Panthers did know, however, was they had the talent to win a championship. They proved it Friday, blitzing past Citrus Park Christian 10-0 in the Class A, District 8 championship, which ended in the bottom of the fifth because of the mercy rule.
"First goal was to become the No. 1 seed in our district. Second was to win it," said senior Jon Braam, who allowed one hit over five innings. "Then, go on from there."
The Panthers (15-7) played flawlessly behind Braam, who faced one batter over the minimum despite recording just two strikeouts. Instead, he put the game in the hands of fielders such as shortstop Chase Carter, who assisted on six putouts and snared a line drive.
"I just have them ground out, (hit) pop flies," Braam said while cradling the district championship trophy. "That's the kind of baseball we play."
They hit, too. Braam got it started when he homered leading off the first.
Three innings later, BCS scored six runs thanks to doubles by Michael Ananicz and David Schopfer, a towering home run from Josh Thomas and three Citrus Park errors.