Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Baseball: Game plan clicks for Countryside

PALM HARBOR — Countryside coach Kemo O'Sullivan has oriented the Cougars' run toward one of the top seeds in Class 6A, District 7 by preaching the gospel of strong pitching. As he plotted it, Countryside would be better armed, less reliant on the bat and ready to showcase the abundance of talent in its rotation.

The message hasn't always gotten through. In his first three seasons, O'Sullivan has yet to guide Countryside to a playoff berth.

But after winning five of their first seven games, including Wednesday's 7-2 victory over Palm Harbor University — the third district win this season — the Cougars were rumbling about being a serious postseason contender.

Believe it. Armed with a real, live pitching attack, Countryside has the arsenal to take on top teams and take command of the district.

"Pitching has been the big thing for us," O'Sullivan said. "We have a multitude of guys that we can throw out there and know they'll get the job done."

Chris Frey started against the Hurricanes and pitched six scoreless innings before giving up two runs in the seventh. He allowed four hits and improved to 4-0.

"We knew this was a must-win if we want to keep our hopes of getting one of the top two seeds in the district," Frey said. "We worked hard all week, and this was huge for us. We just have to keep pitching and play defense. That's what will win us games."

Frey got all the support he needed in the fourth inning when Countryside broke open a scoreless game with five runs. The Cougars did not score by mashing the ball. Instead, they worked the count, drawing four walks and taking advantage of a batter being hit by a pitch. The only big hit in the inning came from Kiefer Sullivan, who had a two-RBI single.

Countryside added two insurance runs in the seventh. The Hurricanes scored their two runs in the bottom half of the inning, but the rally ended after they had runners picked off for the final two outs.

With the win, the Cougars improve to 3-1 in the district and a chance to move into first place in 6A-7 when they host Sarasota on Friday.

"We're 5-2 right now, but we're not hitting on all cylinders — yet," O'Sullivan said. "We've been in every game, and we hope we can keep it going with our last district game."

Baseball: Game plan clicks for Countryside 03/02/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, March 2, 2011 10:04pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Get the latest Tampa Bay Buccaneers news delivered daily to your email inbox

    Bucs

    They narrowly missed the playoffs by thismuch.

    Bucs wide receiver Mike Evans (13) celebrates with quarterback Jameis Winston (3) after they connected for a touchdown during a win over the Seattle Seahawks in November in Tampa. [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times]
  2. For starters: Rays at Yankees, in a pretty big series

    Blogs

    The Rays open a challenging road trip tonight in New York, the first of four games against the wild-card leading Yankees.

  3. Bucs' O.J. Howard says in NFL, 'it's an SEC game every day'

    Blogs

    Bucs rookie O.J. Howard hasn't played in an NFL game yet, but he already appreciates the grind of an NFL season -- every week can be a loss, perhaps more so than in college football, where Alabama went 12-0 in nonconference, non-bowl games in his three years there.

    Bucs rookie O.J. Howard, shown playing for Alabama in the national championship game in Tampa in January, says every game in the NFL is an SEC game, with no letdowns.
  4. Bucs' Mike Evans wants his 'A' game in 4th NFL season

    Blogs

    Bucs receiver Mike Evans has been in the NFL for three seasons, and in two of them, he's had 12 touchdown catches, setting and then matching his own team record. He made the Pro Bowl for the first time last season, but if you ask him to grade those three years, he doesn't see an "A" product just yet.

    Bucs receiver Mike Evans, shown during an OTA workout last month, said he wouldn't give himself an "A" for any of his first three NFL seasons, despite going to the Pro Bowl and twice catching 12 touchdown passes in a season.
  5. Where Tampa's national championship ranks among the greatest games ever

    Blogs

    If you needed any more convincing that Tampa's national championship at Raymond James Stadium was one of the best games in college football history, let me direct you to