DUNEDIN — After starting the season 2-1, Countryside lost 12 of its next 13 and needed to find a way to get back on track.
The Dunedin Spring Invitational was the perfect tonic.
In their opening game, the Cougars got their biggest win of the season, 7-6 over Miami Florida Christian, ranked No. 5 in Class 3A.
"We've had some bad breaks and some bad luck," first-year Countryside coach Kevin O'Sullivan said. "But our guys kept fighting. I'd have to say this our most satisfying win."
Down 5-2, Countryside chipped away at the deficit before scoring twice in the bottom of the sixth for a 7-5 lead.
Then, in the top of the seventh, the Cougars watched as Florida Christian scored once and had runners on second and third with two outs.
Countryside pitcher Kyle Perry, who came in relief in the fifth, got the next batter to ground out to seal the win.
"I thought Perry did a great job coming in, in a tough situation," O'Sullivan said. "I don't know if I have much of my nails left after this one."
In the other late game, Clearwater Central Catholic crushed Northeast 17-0.
The Marauders scored at least three runs in each inning and had 10 hits. Joe McLemore went 4-for-4 with three doubles to lead CCC. Ryan Weber, who threw a one-hit shutout.
"I felt pretty confident because I knew our offense could put up runs," Weber said. "We've played our best the past two weeks."
East Lake scored the winning run on a error in the bottom of the seventh to beat Canterbury 6-5. Palm Harbor U. beat Pinellas Park 11-4 in a loser's bracket game.