Baseball: Jefferson, Newsome reach Saladino final

BRANDON — Alonso came within a few feet of a remarkable comeback against Jefferson in Saturday's semifinals of the Saladino Tournament.

But Andre Davis caught Chris Mejia's drive at the warning track in the sixth, which helped Jefferson hold on for an 8-5 victory at Brandon High.

The Dragons face Newsome, a 6-2 winner over Armwood, in Monday's final.

Trailing by three runs with two outs and two on in the bottom of the sixth, Mejia battled Jefferson reliever Andy Vasquez for nine pitches. He ultimately crushed a full-count pitch that fell just shy of tying the score.

"At our field, it probably would have been gone," Davis said. "But out here, centerfield is pretty deep."

Alonso played from behind for the entire game as Jefferson put four runs on the board in the third to add to its 1-0 lead. Corbin Olmstead hit a three-run double, and Pete Cordero added an RBI single to stake the Dragons to a 5-0 advantage.

Jefferson took an 8-1 lead behind Steven Negron's two-run single in the fourth. Then Alonso rallied for three runs in the sixth, including Tino Mention's RBI single.

In the other semifinal, Newsome took a 5-0 lead in the third. Jake Jones' double scored Alex Parker and Vince Pennington. Erik Dowse followed with a two-run homer, and Michael Farley added an RBI single to give Newsome a five-run lead.

Armwood cut the lead to three with a two-run fifth behind an Eric Striker RBI triple and Jordan Fameree run-scoring single.

Tyler Packanik added an RBI single in the sixth for Newsome to make the score 6-2, and Armwood went down quietly in the sixth and seventh innings against reliever Ryan Tauscher.

In his first start of the season for the Wolves, junior Billy Mulcahy pitched solidly, scattering four hits over 41/3 innings.

In Friday's quarterfinals, Newsome ended Gaither's seven-game win streak with a 1-0 victory. Saturday's win moved it above .500 at 6-5.

"A lot of people had written off Newsome," coach William Highsmith said. "But we've worked these kids hard, and now it is paying off."

.Fast facts

Saladino final

Who: Jefferson vs. Newsome

When: 4 p.m. Monday

Where: Brandon High

Baseball: Jefferson, Newsome reach Saladino final 03/20/11 [Last modified: Sunday, March 20, 2011 12:46am]

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