ST. PETERSBURG — With two key district games looming this week, Dunedin coach Tom Hilbert figured it was safe to bring in a reliever or two after Aaron Chesson held St. Petersburg Catholic scoreless and without a hit entering the fourth inning of Saturday's Baron Classic title game.
The game seemed well in hand considering the Falcons led 10-0. So Hilbert decided to give the sophomore right-hander, usually a reliever, a rest.
But Corey Baptist ended the drought for the Barons in the fifth with a solo homer, and the Falcons ended up using six pitchers as a runaway game turned into an interesting one before Dunedin held on 15-10.
"We knew with the district games (against Tarpon Springs and East Lake) coming up that we wanted to be able to rest some guys, and we didn't want to use (Chesson) for an extended period of time," Hilbert said. "They made things interesting because they're a good team. They didn't back down, and they showed a lot of fight."
Mike Tipton (3-for-4, two RBIs) and Mikey Clarkson (1-for-3) were instrumental in helping build a huge lead. Dunedin scored seven runs in the third, including Tipton's RBI-single and Clarkson's two-run double.
The Falcons scored five runs in the sixth, highlighted by Casey Turgeon's two-run homer. But the Barons exploded for seven runs in the bottom half of the inning, during which Baptist hit a three-run homer. The Barons scored two more runs in the seventh but did not get any closer.
"We're not happy that we lost, but it feels good that we were able to battle back like that," Baptist said. "It does well for our confidence, especially against a team like that."