Make us your home page

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

(View our Privacy Policy)

Bottom of the order for Shorecrest takes charge

Jake Brandenburg’s hot bat in the playoffs helped get Shorecrest to the state final four.


Jake Brandenburg’s hot bat in the playoffs helped get Shorecrest to the state final four.

ST. PETERSBURG — Shorecrest has made it to the Class 2A state tournament with an offense that relies on smart hitting.

John Rothwell is a reliable leadoff guy who can spray hits all over the field. Others at the top and middle of the lineup know their way around the batter's box, too. Shorecrest's 2-3-4-5-6 hitters (Brent Rasmussen, Marc Brakeman, Spencer Heath, Jon Oorlog, Jason Kiracofe) have all been productive, either getting on base or clearing them.

It's all part of a relentless offense that has scored a combined 28 runs since the district tournament began two weeks ago. But what really has put Shorecrest on top has been the bottom of the order that keeps coming through in key situations.

The last three hitters (No. 7 Tyler Larson, No. 8 Andrew Roy, No. 9 Jake Brandenburg) have provided enough evidence to show the Chargers are more than just those at the top of the lineup.

Against Bradenton St. Stephen's, Brandenburg had the tying hit that forced extra innings and lifted Shorecrest to a victory that sealed the No. 1 seed in the district. In the region semifinal against rival Northside Christian, Roy had the winning hit in the seventh inning.

And in last week's region final against Bishop McLaughlin, Larson hit a two-run double that tied it. Brandenburg followed two batters later with what proved to be the winning single in a 3-2 victory.

"The bottom of our order has just been humongous for us," coach Don Reed said. "These guys have really battled and come through with so many big hits when we've really needed them."

One of the reasons the last three hitters have been so productive is because the top and middle of the order have been getting on base.

"I feel like we're really solid up and down the lineup," Brandenburg said. "…The guys at the bottom of the lineup are doing well because we're seeing good pitches. We have a lot of guys on base and we see a lot of fastballs and we're taking advantage of them."

The ability to score a lot of runs and get them in key situations has been a big lift for the Chargers' top two pitchers.

"I know I have to keep as few runs off the scoreboard as possible," said Brakeman after last week's region final victory. "But I know we can always catch up because we have the offense that can rally when we need it."

up next

State tournament

At Digital Domain Park, Port St. Lucie

Today's games

A: Eagle's View vs. Lake Worth Trinity Chr., 10; Deltona Trinity Chr. vs. Highlands Chr., 1

3A: Tampa Catholic vs. Jacksonville Bolles, 5; Cocoa vs. Gulliver Prep, 8

Other local matchups

6A: Alonso vs. Hialeah American, 1 p.m. Friday

5A: King vs. Pace, 1 p.m. Monday

5A: Armwood vs. St. Thomas Aquinas, 8 p.m. Monday

4A: Jesuit vs. Ponte Vedra, 10 a.m. Friday

2A: Shorecrest vs. Jay, 10 a.m. Monday

On the Web

We'll have live updates from games involving local teams at state at

Bottom of the order for Shorecrest takes charge 05/18/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, May 18, 2010 7:36pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. NFL Week 7: What we learned


    Are the Purple People Eaters back in Minnesota? The Vikings sacked Joe Flacco five times and held the Ravens to 208 total yards in a 24-16 home victory, their third straight win. QB Case Keenum looked ordinary with a 67.7 passer rating after completing 20-of-31 for 188 yards and an interception. Kai Forbath …

    Trainers, top, check Cleveland Browns tackle Joe Thomas after Thomas was hurt in the second half of an NFL football game against the Tennessee Titans, Sunday, Oct. 22, 2017, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane) OHTD122
  2. Bills' comeback against Bucs a win for the process


    ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — It hasn't taken Sean McDermott long to understand how to play to his base. Asked if the Bills had "gotten away with one" Sunday, the first-year coach gushed about his team reflecting the character of the town.

    Under first-year coach Sean McDermott, the Bills are 3-0 at home for the first time in six years. “I love playing here,” he says.
  3. No. 18 UCF closes in on USF, which drops to No. 17


    USF remained ahead of UCF in the Associated Press Top 25 poll released Sunday — just barely.

  4. Tampa's Lance McCullers shows killer instinct in pitching Astros to World Series


    HOUSTON — It felt like the beginning on Saturday night at Minute Maid Park, the arrival of a new force on the World Series stage. The Astros are back, for the first time in a dozen years, and they want to stay a while.

    Houston Astros starting pitcher Lance McCullers (43) throwing in the fifth inning of the game between the Houston Astros and the Tampa Bay Rays in Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, July 12, 2015.
  5. Jones: Where are the difference-makers on the Bucs defense?


    ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — They can't tackle. They can't cover. They can't pressure the quarterback, let alone sack him.

    Buffalo Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor (5) scrambles past Bucs defensive tackle Clinton McDonald (98) during the first half. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]