SEMINOLE — Dunedin will get back to baseball now, as much as that is possible in its supercharged rivalry with Seminole. By beating the Warhawks on Friday 7-1 the Falcons hacked through the hype, showed off some of their grit and asserted themselves atop Class 5A, District 11.
Dunedin has at least a two-game lead on the other four teams in the district, meaning the Falcons would have to lose two district games in order for there to be tiebreaker scenarios for the No. 1 seed.
This one wasn't as easy as it looked.
For five innings, Dunedin was shut out and managed just one hit off Seminole starter Jordan Doyle.
"We worked hard in practice on situations, but at that point Doyle was just better than us," Falcons coach Tom Hilbert said.
Dating to the beginning of the season, Dunedin had gone 15 straight innings without scoring a run on the Warhawks' field.
Things got tougher in the bottom of the fifth when Brett Phillips singled to drive in Steve Attaway to put Seminole ahead 1-0.
Then the Falcons responded with a big inning of their own.
In the top of the sixth, Dunedin (10-2) sent 10 batters to the plate, chased two pitchers and scored seven runs to take a lead it would never relinquish.
Casey Turgeon and Mike Clarkson each had run-scoring doubles, Alex Norris had a two-run single and Mike Tipton had a two-run triple in the Falcons' big inning.
"I was just hoping to get something started at that point," Hilbert said. "But with the talent on this team, we can put up some crooked numbers.
"We started off with the little things to get the first guys on in the seventh and then exploded from there."
Clarkson had the run support he needed to stay undefeated at 5-0.
"After we fell behind, I got back into the dugout and cheered everyone on," Clarkson said. "Once we got that first run I was able to relax a little bit."
Dunedin and Seminole host spring break tournaments next week.