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Gators foiled by Crusaders once again

TAMPA — Land O'Lakes can't seem to figure out Tampa Catholic.

The Gators couldn't avenge their only loss of the season Tuesday afternoon, falling to the Crusaders 6-4, ending Land O'Lakes' 14-game winning streak.

Despite 10 hits, including six extra-base hits, the Gators (14-2) spent the game playing catch-up. Land O'Lakes left six runners in scoring position.

"We just made too many mistakes," Land O'Lakes coach Calvin Baisley said. "That's what happens when you have two teams that are evenly matched. It comes down to whoever makes the most mistakes."

The Gators had plenty of opportunities. In the fourth inning, down 4-3 with runners at first and third and one out, leadoff hitter J.J. Downum broke for second, and catcher Shane Rowland picked off the lead runner at third. Crusaders starter Trent Stoker struck out J.D. Cook to end the threat.

Down 6-4, Land O'Lakes couldn't capitalize on Downum's two-out double in the fifth, and brought the tying run to the plate twice but couldn't convert.

Land O'Lakes starter Matt Fuglesang (5-2) couldn't duplicate his six-inning, 12-strikeout effort in the season opener, allowing six runs on 10 hits in five innings. It marked just the second time this season that the Gators allowed more than five runs.

Tampa Catholic (11-5) won the first game 2-1 on Feb. 19.

"We just hit the ball better this time," said Tampa Catholic second baseman Brandon Mendoza, who was 2-for-3. "We definitely struggled against (Fuglesang) the first game. He was the first 85-mph pitcher we saw."

Nick Castellano doubled and singled with one RBI and Fuglesang doubled twice and scored once for the Gators.

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Gators foiled by Crusaders once again 04/01/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, November 3, 2010 11:17am]
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