CLEARWATER — Countryside had only seven wins last season and no more than 13 in Kemo O'Sullivan's coaching tenure.
But after Friday's 7-6 win over St. Petersburg Catholic, the Cougars have a better chance at eclipsing that 13-win mark.
"It's nice to be above .500. It's for the morale of the team," O'Sullivan said.
The Cougars (9-4) took the lead for good in the fifth inning thanks to a couple of errors by the Barons. Dalton Martinez got a hit and advanced to second on a throwing error that also sent Brenden Hewitt to third, and rightfielder Dominic Monda drove them in with a double.
The Cougars took a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first after pitcher Eric Russell got out of the top half. It started when second baseman Brad Dunham's sacrifice fly drove in Monda. Russell's bunt single drove in Kiefer Sullivan and Jake Mielock's single scored Russell.
The Barons made it 3-2 in the third. After allowing one run in the bottom of the inning, they took advantage of a rough beginning for Cougar relief pitcher Monda, driving in three runs in the fourth off an RBI single by Dakota Sarafin, which scored both Jacob McFadden and Corey Baptist, along with a double from Justin Tedder to score Max Geller.
Monda recovered to pitch the rest of the game, only allowing one run off of a couple of his own errors in the seventh.
That proved to be just enough as a double play with the tying run in scoring position ended the game.