LARGO — Osceola knew it would take a monumental effort to advance past Tates Creek of Lexington, Ky., and into today's championship game at the Osceola Spring Invitational.
Tates Creek sent ace Trevor Gott to the mound. He signed with the University of Kentucky this year and throws a fastball in the low 90s.
Fortunately for the Warriors, they had their own standout in the form of Brock Jensen.
Jensen threw a complete-game shutout, striking out seven and allowing only four hits in the Warriors' 2-0 victory. Osceola will face Northeast for the championship in a rematch of a game the Warriors won 8-1 this season.
Wednesday, Jensen was in command for Osceola (14-2). He matched Gott pitch for pitch. He kept the Commodores off the basepaths. When Jensen did allow a baserunner, he made sure he didn't advance.
"I was just trying to get ahead of the batters and trying to mix it up by using a lot of offspeed pitches," Jensen said. "I knew they were a good hitting team. They play a lot of good baseball up there and are one of the best in the state (of Kentucky)."
With Osceola clinging to a 2-0 lead in the seventh inning, Jensen gave up a single to leadoff batter Travis Murray, who stole second. The senior left-hander was bailed out when third baseman Scott Schlapinski snagged a hard-hit line drive in the air then threw to second to double up Murray. Jensen struck out the final batter to complete his masterpiece against the Commodores (2-2).
Earlier, Northeast defeated Battlefield of Haymarket, Va., 7-3 to reach the final and get its second chance against Osceola.
"I think we knew we were going to play (Osceola) again," third baseman Shawn Delmontagne said. "We're ready."
Jeremy Lopez crushed a home run to rightfield in the fifth inning to put Northeast (13-3) ahead 7-2. Brent Brockman and Colin Shumake both hit doubles, and Brockman was 3-for-4.
Delmontagne laced a one-out single to centerfield that scored two in the third. A wild pitch later in the inning put the Vikings ahead 4-1. They extended the lead to 6-1 in the fourth.
Clearwater 12, Dixie Hollins 0: A day after Clearwater pitcher Kraig Richmond missed his scheduled start with back tightness, he returned to the mound and struck out eight to shut out Dixie Hollins in a five-inning, mercy-rule shortened victory.
Richmond allowed only five hits.
Richmond was the Tornadoes' leading hitter, going 3-for-3 with an RBI. Brett Gilman was 2-for-4 with a double and two RBIs, and Brian Borden added two hits and two RBIs for Clearwater (6-9).
For Dixie Hollins (4-11), Matt Harris went 2-for-2.
Rebels starting pitcher Nathan Chlysta was hit in the face with a line drive in the first inning and didn't return. His status is unknown.
Tenoroc 10, Paintsville 8: Tenoroc took a 10-4 lead in to the final inning and withstood a late rally to win its first tournament game and finish pool play 1-2. Paintsville is 0-3 in the tournament.