WESLEY CHAPEL — In a game filled with free passes and miscues, the third hit batter made the difference in Thursday's semifinal of the Pasco County Spring Break Tourney.
Sunlake's Wayne Ketterer plunked Mike Campoamor with the bases loaded and no outs in the bottom of the seventh inning to give host Wiregrass Ranch a 5-4 win. Harry Olsen, who led off the inning with a single, trotted home for the winning run.
"I'm looking to drive the ball, so I'm definitely trying to stay in there," Campoamor said. "I've got to stay in and take it. It only hurts for a little bit."
Wiregrass Ranch, which advanced to the tournament final for the second straight season, plays Mitchell at 7 tonight.
"We want to be playing in the last game," said Bulls coach Jeff Swymer, whose team lost last year's final 9-8 to Wesley Chapel.
"We've done that for two years in a row."
Getting the win Thursday was not exactly a smooth process as the Bulls and Seahawks combined for 11 walks, four errors and three hit batters.
"That was poorly executed baseball at its finest," Swymer said.
Tied at 3, both teams scored a run in the sixth to set up the dramatic seventh.
Sunlake took the lead in the top half when Ryan Talbert legged out a double and scored on Zac Howard's single. In the bottom half, Zack Drury hit a bases-loaded, two-out single to score Shane Bucenell.
Wiregrass Ranch (16-4) took a 2-0 lead in its first at-bat. Mike Barrone walked and Marcus Guzman singled, both scoring on consecutive singles by Joel Marin and Drury.
But Sunlake (9-10), which had won five of six before Thursday, bounced back to take a 3-2 lead in the top of the second. Ryan Girard, a sophomore right-hander, got the first two outs before the Seahawks scored three runs off two hits and three walks. Two walks, to Travis Doyle and Angel Delgado, came with the bases loaded.
Left-hander Ryan Kopenski, who allowed one earned run in three innings, earned the win in relief of Girard.