Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Pirates grab crucial win, district lead

DADE CITY — Pitching aside, Pasco coach Ricky Giles thought Tuesday night's jacket-friendly weather in Dade City was far more crisp than his team's performance against Nature Coast.

Defensively, Giles saw a couple of infield miscues and watched the lower part of his batting order — the No. 6-9 spots — fail to get a hit.

"We weren't as sharp as we normally play," Giles said. "We're a little better than what we saw tonight."

From the perspective of a Nature Coast fan, however, flatness might never have looked so formidable.

Embarking on a four-game, four-day stretch, Pasco (12-1, 10-1) got a much-needed complete game from junior right-hander Henry Johnson, and more than enough production from the top of its order, for an 8-1 rout of the Sharks (10-3, 9-3).

With five district games remaining, including one tonight against rival Zephyrhills, the Pirates have a 11/2-game lead over the Bulldogs (11-4, 9-3) and Nature Coast in the Class 4A, District 8 race.

"The season's a long way from being over," Giles said. "You get that (top district) seed, that's all right, but still, it's almost a survival day in and day out."

Survival, of course, hinges on pitching, which the Pirates possess in bulk. Johnson's four-hitter Tuesday allowed Giles to save senior aces Dustin Brown and Aaron Brandt for tonight's game and Thursday's conference showdown at Land O'Lakes.

Subsisting almost exclusively on his fastball and changeup, Johnson (3-0) struck out six and walked none and didn't allow a hit to Nature Coast's No. 1, 2 or 4 hitters. His lone blemish: a first-pitch blast by Eric Adams that hit the yellow top of the rightfield fence and was ruled a home run, prompting a brief argument from Giles.

Complementing Johnson were catcher Jorge Jaramillo, who doubled twice and drove in two runs, and leadoff hitter Dylan Giella (2-for-3, two stolen bases, three runs).

Johnson "knew what he had to do," Giles said. "We told him, 'You've got this game.' … Henry did a great job, did a good job with the pitch count. I can't ask for no more out of him."

Pirates grab crucial win, district lead 03/25/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, March 26, 2008 1:22pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Dirk Koetter to Bucs: Take your complaints to someone who can help


    TAMPA — It was just another day of aching bellies at One Save Face.

    Dirk Koetter: “All of our issues are self-inflicted right now.”
  2. Bucs journal: Few complaints about Jameis Winston's play


    TAMPA — It wasn't enough to pull out a win Sunday at Buffalo, but a week removed from a shoulder sprain, Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston threw for 384 yards and three touchdowns against the NFL's No. 2 pass defense.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Brent Grimes (24) signs autographs for fans before an NFL game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn., on Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017.
  3. Lightning's Jon Cooper uses unusual tactic to create mismatches

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Tyler Johnson is about to swing his left leg over the boards for his next shift alongside linemate Alex Killorn and … who else?

    Stamkos? Kucherov? Point?

    Tampa Bay Lightning head coach Jon Cooper argues the called as his team gets a faceoff violation, leading to penalty and #Caps PP goal, during second period action at the Amalie Arena in Tampa Monday evening (10/09/17).DIRK SHADD   |   Times
  4. A buzz-worthy look at the Astros-Dodgers World Series matchup

    The Heater

    Houston Astros' Yuli Gurriel is congratulated by Jose Altuve after scoring during the fifth inning of Game 7 of baseball's American League Championship Series against the New York Yankees Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip) TXMG170
  5. Florida, FSU try to ignore death threats, angry fans


    GAINESVILLE — Frustration over uncharacteristically down seasons at Florida and Florida State has started to spill over from message boards and start crossing real-world lines.

    Fans watch the Florida Gators game against Texas A&M, at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, in Gainesville, Fla. At the half, Florida was up 10 to 3.