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CCC beats Dunedin 6-4 to claim tournament title

DUNEDIN — For weeks, Clearwater Central Catholic worked to the side of the main stage, quietly winning every game in its forgotten district and elsewhere.

Still, the Marauders lurked in the shadow of county powers, becoming lost in the blinding glare surrounding Dunedin and others.

But CCC can no longer fly under the radar.

With a balanced offense and superb pitching, the Marauders forced themselves into the county spotlight by advancing to the final of the Dunedin Spring Classic and playing the Falcons in a widely anticipated game.

CCC pulled through in the final, beating Dunedin 6-4 to win the tournament title for the first time.

"This was big for us," Marauders pitcher Zach Olson said.

Olson pitched a gem, giving up four hits in six innings.

Olson started slow, allowing two runs in the first. But he settled down after that and retired 14 of the final 17 batters he faced.

"It was just a matter of getting nerves under control," said Olson, who was named the pitching MVP. "It was my best game this season."

The Marauders gave him the run support he needed, scoring twice in the third inning, three times in the fourth and once in the sixth.

In the seventh, CCC turned to Ryan Weber to close the game. He started by allowing a single to Clay Kollenbaum then a homer to Cam Fisher to cut the deficit to 6-4.

No problem.

Weber retired the next three batters, including two by strikeout, to end the threat.

CCC's Sam Mende, who was 9-of-12 with five triples and two home runs this week, was named hitting MVP. The Marauders' Joe McLemore was the tournament MVP after getting eight hits and pitching his team to a victory in the semifinals.

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CCC beats Dunedin 6-4 to claim tournament title 04/05/08 [Last modified: Monday, April 7, 2008 12:08pm]

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