Make us your home page
Instagram

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

Loading...
  1. Rowdies settle for draw at home

    Soccer

    ST. PETERSBURG — The good news for the Rowdies is that they still haven't lost a game at Al Lang Stadium since late April. The bad news is they had to settle for a 1-1 tie against Ottawa on Saturday night in front of 6,710 sweaty fans.

  2. Bats come to life, but Rays' freefall continues (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG —The six runs seemed like a ton, just the second time the Rays had scored that many in a game during their numbing two-plus-weeks stretch of offensive impotency, and amazingly, the first time at the Trop in nearly two months.

    Lucas Duda connects for a two-run home run in the sixth, getting the Rays within 7-5. A Logan Morrison home run in the ninth made it 7-6, but Tampa Bay couldn’t complete the comeback.
  3. Rays journal: Cesar Puello, who has one major-league game, claimed off waivers

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Looking to add punch to their right-handed lineup, the Rays claimed OF Cesar Puello off waivers Saturday from the Angels.

  4. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Saturday's Rays-Mariners game

    The Heater

    SS Adeiny Hechavarria doesn't always look like he's going hard, but he showed impressive reactions Saturday in reversing field to catch a ball that clanked off the catwalk then firing to second to double up Guillermo Heredia on an attempt to tag up.

  5. Bucs journal: Simeon Rice gives master class on sacks to defensive ends

    Bucs

    TAMPA — As the Bucs seek their first 10-sack season from a player since Simeon Rice in 2005, who better to help that cause than Rice himself?

    Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers great Simeon Rice works with defensive end Noah Spence (57) after practice at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Saturday, Aug. 19, 2017.