CLEARWATER — Round 1 of the Class 3A, District 9 rivalry between Clearwater Central Catholic and Calvary Christian went to the Marauders.
CCC scored six runs in the first three innings, four of which came with two outs, and held on to defeat the Warriors 6-5 Friday. The game had everything expected from a rivalry: good pitching, timely hitting and a little controversy.
"Two really good teams going at it and it should be a one-run game," CCC coach Todd Vaughan said.
Early on it looked like the game would be all Marauders. CCC got to Calvary Christian starter Daniel Broeseker in the first inning.
With two outs, Andrew Mink singled up the middle to score Andrew Murphy. Nico Dohse followed with an RBI single, and pinch runner Jeff Smith scored from third on a wild pitch that made it 3-0.
The Marauders added a run in the second when Brenden Overton singled home Murphy with two outs. Then came the controversy.
Overton tried to go to second on a throw to the plate but was thrown out by catcher Tommy Georgevich. Overton slid hard and spiked second baseman Jake Richardson in the right leg. Richardson had to leave for the hospital to get stitches in the large gash. Overton was ejected for the hard slide and will have to sit out at least three games.
"It's a nasty gash," Warriors' coach Greg Olsen said. "It's all the way to the bone. It's as bad of a leg wound as I've seen. His bone was exposed."
Vaughan said he doesn't think Overton will miss more than three games.
"It wasn't gross misconduct. (The umpires) said he slid high with his cleats," he said. "I don't know. I know he slid late. It's just one of those things, and we have to live with it."
When play resumed, CCC kept on scoring. In the third, Dohse had an RBI single and went to third on a throwing error. Zuriel Collins then bunted home Dohse to make it 6-0.
CCC starter David Paul cruised through the first four innings and had nine strikeouts. But he ran into trouble in the fifth. Jack Bodner and Mark Coleman started the inning with singles. Two outs later, Calvary cashed in.
Georgevich singled to score Bodner. Grant McDaniel then doubled to centerfield to score two more runs. Paul got a groundout to third to get out of the inning.
Paul let two runners on base in the sixth but got out of that jam. He was replaced in the seventh by Michael Del Monte.
After getting the first out, an error and two walks loaded the bases. Jake Rothwell then hit a grounder to Del Monte, who got a force out at home.
Johnnie Schneider followed with a grounder to Collins, who misplayed the ball and allowed two runs to score. The game ended when Bodner hit a groundout to second base.
Calvary's Collin Booten and Rothwell combined to shut out CCC in the final four innings.
"There isn't a guy in this dugout who quit for a second," Olsen said. "We fought every pitch and came one pitch away."