BROOKSVILLE — Hernando Christian faced a familiar foe with a familiar result Friday in its Class A region semifinal.
Trinity Christian, the same program that earned a 10-0 semifinal win over HCA last season, again stopped the Lions, beating them 12-1.
HCA (19-7) started eighth-grade pitcher Brandon Brosher for the second time in as many rounds this postseason, but the young ace lasted only 21/3 innings after a blister on his right big toe split in the third inning.
Brosher set down the Eagles in order in the first and surrendered two unearned runs in the second before the injury started to show.
The Lions looked primed for the upset when the game began, scoring the first run when Ian Townsend singled and scored in the first. The home team loaded the bases that inning with two outs and came within a few feet of going up 5-0 when Garrett Mikkola's long drive was caught on the centerfield warning track.
"Taking Brandon out was the game-changer," third-year HCA coach Scott Boer said. "Good teams like that put you in vulnerable situations, and they did that to us today."
After a trip to the Class A final four last season, the Eagles (18-11) moved to 12-0 against A opponents in 2009.
The Eagles staff recorded 10 strikeouts and scattered only two hits against the Lions.
Matt Wisniewski was the hero at the plate for Trinity Christian, going 2-for-3 with two runs scored and four RBIs. He hit a two-run homer in the seventh that helped cement the victory.