BRANDON — Carrollwood Day is playing in its first Saladino tournament, and the Patriots are making the most of it. They pounded out 14 hits, got at least one hit in each inning and scored in all but two innings in a 9-3 win over Plant in Thursday night's quarterfinal.
Carrollwood Day (9-2) will play Jesuit at 1 p.m. Friday in the semifinals.
"Our challenge to the team was to just have fun," CDS coach Nick Rodriguez said. "We have a good team. We have good kids. We've just been a little flat in this tournament but we came together in this one."
The Patriots were hitting from the start and scored four runs in the second off Plant starter Bobby Gough. With one out and two on, Grant Walford tripled home two runs for a 2-0 lead. Rodrigo Montenegro then doubled to score Walford. Montenegro scored on a first-and-third double steal for the inning's final run.
Each team scored in the fourth and the Patriots added two more in the fifth. Frank Furey, also the starting pitcher, had an RBI single, as did Andre Hevesy. Furey got into some trouble in the bottom of the fifth when he had the bases loaded with no outs. But Plant could only score once, when A.J. Hubbard was hit by a pitch.
"I just had to start making my pitches on my counts in that jam," Furey said. "I was able to throw strikes and place my off speed pitches to get out of it."
Carrollwood Day tacked on two more runs in the seventh on another Hevesy RBI and Furey scored on a wild pitch. Gabe Partridge relieved in the seventh and gave up one unearned run.
"Frank threw a gem and our defense played solid enough to win," Rodriguez said. "That's our strength. Just a lot of really good things tonight."
Jesuit 9, Steinbrenner 0
Jesuit's Price Sartor was looking forward to pitching against some of his friends at Steinbrenner on Thursday afternoon. After scattering five hits over seven shutout innings, he'll have bragging rights next time he sees them.
Sartor's arm and two big innings were the difference in the quarterfinal. Duncan Hunter led the Tigers' 13-hit attack. He was 3-for-4 with two runs batted in. But it was Sartor who had control the entire game.
"There was a little competitiveness, for sure," Sartor said. "There was some trash talk, but I was ready for it. I executed. I felt good from the beginning and once we got those runs I was able to sail through it."
As it turned out, all the runs Sartor needed came in the second inning. With one out, Joel Brewer doubled for the Tigers' first hit off Steinbrenner starter Patrick Morris. That was followed by an RBI double from Hunter. Garrett Sheppard then singled home Hunter to make it 2-0.
Steinbrenner's best scoring threat came in the fourth. The Warriors (8-3) loaded the bases on a Morris single, and two-out singles from Noah Luke and Anthony Cassos. But Sartor got Ryan Glass to fly out to center to end the inning.
In the sixth, Jesuit (9-1) blew the game open with seven runs. The Tigers got six hits off Morris and reliever Huston Richter, including another RBI single from Hunter and a two-RBI hit from Sheppard. Jesuit sent 12 batters to the plate in the inning.
"There were a lot of clutch hits in that inning," Jesuit coach Miguel Menendez said. "Duncan Hunter's hit, to me, was the biggest one. He was 0-and-2 and worked it for a base hit and that kind of opened the flood gates."
Jesuit will play Carrollwood Day in the semifinals. If it wins, the final will be at 7 p.m. That will test the pitching staff, but at least Sartor saved those arms from pitching Thursday.
"For him to throw a complete game was huge," Menendez said. "We might have two games (Friday) and we didn't have to go into our bullpen. And that's probably the best he's looked this season."