DUNEDIN — Todd Vaughan has not been patrolling the Clearwater Central Catholic dugout forever. It just seems that way.
Vaughan has coached the Marauders for 21 seasons, currently the longest tenure of any county baseball coach, and has guided the team to state titles in two of the past six seasons.
That kind of longevity is impressive. But as any coach knows, nobody lasts that long without winning. And Vaughan has been a huge winner.
On Wednesday, he reached the 400-win plateau with a 6-3 victory over Dunedin in the semifinals of the Dunedin Spring Invitational.
Clearwater Central Catholic will play Tampa Catholic in the championship game Friday.
"We talked about this being a milestone game, and it was nice to get this on the first shot," Vaughan said. "There were 21 teams that helped me get to this point. These guys just put the exclamation on it."
Wednesday's game was a rematch of last year's title game, which CCC won.
Zac Olson was the starter for that game and took the mound again this year against the Falcons. He allowed two runs on eight hits before leaving after the fifth inning.
"We were pumped because we want to repeat as champions," Olson said. "We knew Dunedin had a lot of newcomers, but they were still a good team. Plus, we had incentive to win for our coach. Getting 400 victories is not something a lot of people can do."
Clearwater Central Catholic scored all of its runs in the first four innings, then held on.
James Dowdell and Patrick Camporini each had doubles for the Marauders. Casey Turgeon had Dunedin's only extra-base hit, a triple.
Tampa Catholic 9, River Ridge 5: The Crusaders advanced to the title game by scoring seven runs in the first inning, the big hit a grand slam by Brandon Mendoza.
Countryside 11, St. Petersburg 1: The Cougars pounded out 12 hits in a game that was called after five innings because of the mercy rule. Chris Frey, Daniel Torres, Sawyer Wilson and Andrew Brodbeck each had two hits.
Tarpon Springs 13, SP Catholic 9: The teams combined for 25 hits. The Spongers' Ryan Allen was 3-for-4 with a double. The Barons' Connor Obrachta and Jake Foerster each hit homers.