SEMINOLE — Osceola escaped the bitter cold wind and headed home Monday night with a warm feeling.
Not everything went right for the Warriors against Lakewood. They didn't exactly mash the ball, wasted some scoring opportunities and their pitcher walked four batters and hit another.
But on a night when some things went wrong, Osceola turned out to be all right.
Behind an effective pitching performance from Taylor Layner and a few timely hits, the Warriors beat the Spartans 6-3.
Osceola (15-3) remains undefeated in Class 5A, District 11 play and will face Seminole a week from today in a game that will most likely decide the top seed in the district.
"It was an ugly game," Warriors coach Kevin Mullins said. "But we'll take ugly any day."
For Osceola, the game marked the end of a tough stretch. In their two previous games, the Warriors lost to Pendleton Academy in Bradenton and to Seminole.
"Maybe those losses were good for us," Mullins said. "We were focused early, and then kind of put things on cruise control."
Osceola started the scoring in the first inning with a triple by TJ Glessner and a double by Layner that each brought in a run. Trent Campbell and Winston Rivas also knocked in runs to help the Warriors go ahead 4-0.
Osceola also scored runs in the second and fourth. Lakewood (12-7) rallied, scoring a run in the third, fourth and fifth inning. But it was not enough.
Layner allowed four hits and struck out 11, including the last five batters, to improve to 5-0.
Layner also went 2-for-4 with two RBIs. Glessner and Campbell were the other Warriors with two hits in the game.
Troy Matthews, the Spartans' leadoff hitter, had two of his team's four hits.