DADE CITY — The Pasco Pirates arrived at school Friday morning to find their ballpark vandalized. Streams of toilet paper dangled from the fence, syrup stuck to the dugout benches, and two dog bones sat on top of home plate.
In the outfield, the letters Z-H-S — made from tape — had been planted. Zephyrhills coach Bruce Cimorelli said he doubted it was any of his players; the Bulldogs didn't return from Thursday's game at Ridgewood until 11:30 p.m.
But in the court of Pirates opinion, their archrivals were guilty. Friday evening, Pasco (16-6) sentenced them to seven more innings of anguish.
Behind the first varsity complete game of junior Brennan Allen's career, the Pirates jumped on Zephyrhills (15-7) early and held off an intense seventh-inning 'Dogs rally for a 4-2 triumph on Pasco's senior night.
"Really, that (vandalism) kind of gave them a little motivation," Pirates coach Ricky Giles said of his players. "I made them clean it up."
Following his cleanup duty, Allen then spent a couple of hours painting the corners. With two out and the bases loaded in the seventh, the right-hander used his 109th pitch to force freshman Jacob Guy to fly out to rightfield.
"I was going to go until (Giles) took me out, and I was very happy he didn't take me out," said Allen, who scattered seven hits, struck out 11 and walked three. "I wanted this game. My arm feels great. I wanted to finish this game."
Catcher Jorge Jaramillo, among the Pirates seniors recognized before the game, drove in three runs to lead Pasco. His two-run homer off lefty Chris Fern in the third inning, which gave the Pirates a 4-0 lead, was preceded by a leadoff solo blast by classmate Josh Johnson.
Allen handled the rest. He escaped a two-out bases-loaded jam in the first by fanning Manny Santiago, then allowed two hits over the next five innings. He allowed a two-out bases-loaded single to Tyler Guy in the seventh and walked Austin Adams to bring in another run before forcing the fly out.