Whether they realized it or not, the members of Pasco's baseball team got a whiff of big-league life this week, discovering what it's like to play every day. The insertion of Wednesday's makeup game against Zephyrhills into an already-crammed week forced the Pirates to play four contests in as many nights, three against teams with winning records. (Zephyrhills played four games this week — but not on consecutive nights.) The result: a 3-1 record and newfound appreciation for off-days. A closer look at that daunting stretch:
Joe D. Award
(for hitting safely in all four games)
No one hit safely in all four, but junior Jacob Schrader, left, came closest. The Pirates' No. 3 hitter, Schrader went 6-for-10 with five RBIs in the first three games, highlighted by a perfect night (4-for-4, two RBIs) in Thursday's 7-5 loss at Land O'Lakes. He was hitless in Friday night's 7-4 win at Wiregrass Ranch. Honorable mention: leadoff man Dylan Giella (5-for-13, seven runs, two doubles)
Although senior Aaron Brandt was superb (86 pitches, five hits) in a 3-1 win Wednesday against Zephyrhills, we say fellow right-hander Henry Johnson's four-hitter in an 8-1 win against Nature Coast the night before was the most crucial pitching effort of the week. By going the distance in a huge district game, Johnson, left, preserved the rest of Pasco's arms for the ensuing three contests.
Number of the stretch
.833 Combined winning percentage, entering the week, of Pasco's first three opponents — Nature Coast, Zephyrhills and Land O'Lakes — of the four-game stretch.
The 3-1 triumph against Zephyrhills, a classic pitching duel between Brandt and Bulldogs ace Tyler Guy, lasted roughly 1 hour, 40 minutes.
The 7-5 loss at Land O'Lakes — which featured three pitching changes, dozens of fouled-off balls by Pirates hitters and only one 1-2-3 inning — lasted about 2 hours, 45 minutes.
Did you know?
Throw in victories against Hernando and Springstead on March 20 and 21 and the Pirates are concluding a stretch of six games in nine days. They finished 5-1 during that run.
Don't forget their day job
We can hear you skeptics now. Ah, these kids play five and six nights a week in summer tournaments. … Heck, some teams in the Saladino Tournament (in Tampa) play five nights in a row. … Well, this is our retort: In summer ball — and the Saladino, for that matter — those kids don't have school the next day. In three of Pasco's four games, the Pirates did.
They said it
"I feel pretty worn out, actually. Pretty sore."
Giella, after Friday night's victory
"Probably 12 or 1. It was a long week."
second baseman Thomas Harris, when asked what time he plans to wake up today