EAST LAKE — The sequel is rarely better than the original, and there is no exception with the much-anticipated rematch between the top teams in Class 5A, District 11.
After losing by one run to East Lake last month Dunedin overpowered the Eagles, scoring five runs in the third inning and cruising to a 15-0, five-inning victory Tuesday night.
"Our goal every inning is to try to put pressure on their pitcher," Dunedin coach Tom Hilbert said. "We had a very good night tonight offensively. It was our best pregame batting-practice all year, and we took it right into the game."
Mike Clarkson, who improved his record to 5-0 and threw his first career high school no-hitter, overshadowed the Falcons' hit parade. Clarkson struck out seven and kept his ERA unblemished at 0.00.
East Lake (9-4, 4-3) couldn't overcome early miscues. With two out in the first, Casey Turgeon reached first base after being hit by a pitch and Clarkson followed by drawing a walk.
Jordan Savinon ripped a triple to the outfield, scoring both and giving Dunedin (11-1, 5-1) an early 2-0 lead.
The Falcons crossed the plate four more times in the second inning. Michael Tipton tomahawk chopped a two-run bomb followed by another two-run homer by Turgeon, making the score 11-0 after three innings.
"(The first meeting) showed us that we have to play hard every inning of every game," said Tipton, who finished 3-for-5 with two doubles, a home run and four RBIs.
Clarkson struck out the side with 12 pitches in the bottom of the third. Third baseman Kyle Kunnen came up with the biggest play of the game.
"After his last at-bat, (Kunnen) came into the dugout and he was upset because he hasn't been hitting the ball," Clarkson said. "And I just talked to him telling him, 'You can't take your bat on the field because it's going to effect your fielding ability. Make up your at-bats with your defense.' "
After the speech, Kunnen dove and caught a hard, low liner for the first out in the fourth inning preserving the no-hitter.