ST. PETERSBURG — Northside Christian and Shorecrest have been the fiercest of rivals for years in baseball with their games often determining the top seed in the district and which team advances deeper in the playoffs.
On Wednesday, the Chargers gained an edge in Class 2A, District 11 by getting 11 hits in a convincing 13-3 victory that was called after six innings because of the 10-run mercy rule.
But the win was not convincing enough for Shorecrest coach Don Reed, who preached to the team about the importance of putting everything together in the same game.
"We still haven't played a complete game," Reed said. "We left too many guys on base and had some breakdowns. We'll be in the Seminole tournament next week and we can't get away with some of those things against some public school teams."
The Chargers (10-5) built their lead slowly, scoring once in the first inning and adding two more in the second and four in the third.
It was more than enough for starter Brian Kinter, who was mowing down Mustangs batters with efficiency through the first four innings. He had a no-hitter going and struck out 10 to that point.
But he started to tire in the fifth inning, when the Mustangs rallied with three runs to make it 7-3.
No matter. Miles Bernstein hit a home run in the bottom of the fifth to put Shorecrest ahead 8-3. The Chargers ended the game by scoring five in the sixth.
Marc Brakeman and John Rothwell each went 2-for-3 to lead Shorecrest's hit parade.
"We came out a little flat," Rothwell said. "But we got our confidence back, turned it on and beat them with our bats. I feel like the offense and the team are starting to come together now."