SEMINOLE — A simple single by Brad Deppermann benefitted East Lake in two ways Thursday.
The seventh-inning hit drove home Ian Lisle (leadoff double) for a 3-0 lead over Osceola in the PCAC title game. But it also extended the inning, and when the Warriors finally got their last shot, the skies emptied.
Mike Kleinman and Tyler Malinowski were hit by pitches — the second one also dinging the umpire — and advanced with stolen bases on a strikeout. Play continued in the deluge. But when Luke Hains was almost wiped out by Kleinman's slide on a failed suicide squeeze, the umps called the game and East Lake won its second straight title.
Because the seventh inning was not completed, the final was 2-0, the score after the last completed inning.
"If you're going to be the team, you have to play like you're the team," Eagles coach Dan Genna said. "We knew to get to their big boy (Osceola ace Keith Weisenberg), we had to get to him early."
With the Stanford-bound senior missing up with his pitches in the first inning, East Lake got aggressive. Starting with a hit batter and a walk, the Eagles (17-7) used four stolen bases and RBI singles from Nick DeSantis and Cameron Churchill (who reached base three times) to take charge.
Eagles starter Ryan Wall backed it up, holding Osceola (18-6) to just two hits, striking out five and walking one before giving way to Deppermann in the sixth.
"I'm not the fastest-throwing guy," Wall said. "I try just to change speeds and get good, groundball outs. I go out there thinking about what I want to do and how I'm going to do it."
"Ryan's been our big pitcher the last two years," Genna said. "He spotted all three pitches and went to just two three-ball counts.
"We're going to enjoy this and prepare for the most meaningful part of the season, which is the district tournament."