DUNEDIN — Clearwater Central Catholic senior catcher Seth Paitsel remembers the thrill of the Marauders claiming the Dunedin Invitational in 2008 when he was a freshman.
Three years later he got to feel the thrill one last time, as his unsung Marauders came back from down two runs in the bottom of the sixth inning Saturday night and pulled out a 7-6 victory over Countryside in the tournament final at the Englebert Complex.
"I was with the 2008 team who won it when I was a freshman, so it just feels good to win it again as a senior," Paitsel said.
"The beginning of the season we started off really slow but we're now coming together as a team. Were pitching lights out and hitting the ball, so I'm not worried about the rest of the season."
Paitsel did his part for the Marauders, as he blasted a towering three-run shot over the leftfield fence to put CCC ahead 4-2 in the bottom of the third inning.
Countryside's Dominic Monda pitched well throughout, striking out nine batters through 62/3 innings. But CCC got to Monda in the bottom of the sixth, loading the bases and scoring two crucial runs off an error for a 7-6 lead. CCC's Jeff Campbell pitched a perfect seventh to seal the win.
"They've been real resilient," Marauders coach Todd Vaughan said. "They've been like that the last three weeks. You can't teach that. You either have it or you don't. We came here to play four good games vs. four good teams and that's what we saw. That's the ultimate goal for me is for us to show we can put four good games together and do that in a tournament."