CLEARWATER — Perhaps it was because the Class 3A, District 10 regular-season top spot had already been settled.
Perhaps it was because Tampa Catholic was looking toward today's rematch against nationally ranked Jesuit (No. 6 in ESPNRise poll) at sold-out Steinbrenner Field.
Or perhaps it was because Clearwater Central Catholic had gained a dose of confidence by beating the Crusaders in an extra-inning affair a little more than two weeks ago.
Whatever the reason, the Marauders beat the Crusaders 11-4 on Friday night, with every player in the batting order recording at least one RBI.
"To have everything click like that right before the playoffs start is big for us," CCC starter Dominick Del Monte said. "It's always been a big rivalry, and to beat them like that feels good."
Del Monte had three strikeouts and scattered eight hits over seven innings to improve to 5-1. He escaped trouble in the second and fifth innings without suffering much damage, allowing just one run in the second after loading the bases and two runs in the fifth by ending the inning with a groundout and a strikeout with the bases loaded.
The Marauders had given the senior left-hander plenty of cushion. CCC (14-5) batted around in an eight-run second inning, forcing Tampa Catholic lefty Billy Endres from the game.
After leading 1-0 on James Petika's sac fly in the first, Jeff Campbell hit a solo homer in the second. Ryan Hallam followed with a single, and one-out later Patrick Camporini walked. Eric Simone then ripped a first-pitch fastball over the fence in left for his first homer this season. After Petika reached on an error, Jordan Nolan chased Endres from the game two batters later with a run-scoring single to center.
"They definitely have a good ballclub, but I don't know what happened with us," Tampa Catholic coach Pat Russo said.
Simone was 3-for-6 with three RBIs, Nolan went 4-for-4 with an RBI, and Preston Packrall added a home run.
Nico Millan went 2-for-3 with three RBIs for the Crusaders.