CLEARWATER — Pinellas County private schools only had six weeks to prepare for their first all-star game, but it turned out to be a great show Friday night.
Five different pitchers combined on a three-hitter to help lift the county past the Sarasota/Bradenton All-Stars 10-2 at Jack Russell Stadium.
"It was better than we hoped," Canterbury coach Dave Smith said. "You saw 13 kids out here tonight playing as a true team, having fun and playing baseball — reminded me of what the Rays have been doing to find their success."
Joey Cuda, John Lancaster and Brandon Hamilton pitched from Canterbury, along with JoJo Hess of Northside Christian and Ryan Kindt of Calvary Christian. Catcher Jeff Reynolds of Shorecrest said he was not surprised these guys allowed only three hits despite four to five weeks off.
"A little bit of rest may have helped," Reynolds said. "These guys are some of the best. They spot every pitch and hardly ever miss."
Reynolds also led the offense with two hits, including a double. Ben Stewart of St. Petersburg Catholic and Hess also finished with two hits. Paul Meola of St. Petersburg Catholic had a two-run double.
"This was an all-star game," Reynolds said. "Everyone was busting their butt. Everybody's got one gear, and that's go hard all the time."
The private school all-star game was first discussed following a meeting to decide the Pinellas County public school all-star game. Northside Christian coach Raul Hernandez said the public schools had a "lopsided" advantage in number of kids selected, and the private school coaches quickly worked together to create their own game.
The Winning Inning baseball group got involved and provided a field and umpires. The game is expected to become an annual event.
Little League Tournament of Champions
Minor baseball (ages 8-11): Seminole II 7, Seminole I 6