DUNEDIN — One of baseball's old aphorisms still rings true in the Dunedin Spring Classic — good pitching beats good hitting.
Though the tournament occasionally belongs to maulers who can tear down the fences (there were more than 10 home runs last week), it has gained a reputation as being a tough place for hitters, especially in the championship game.
That has a lot to do with the talent on the hill.
With a premium on pitching, teams stocked with enough arms usually do well.
And no team has stacked its deck with more aces than Clearwater Central Catholic. The rotation includes Ryan Weber, Joe McLemore and Zach Olson.
Olson emerged as a new force on the staff after allowing four hits in six innings to help the Marauders beat the host Falcons 6-4 in the championship game.
Thanks to its top-drawer starters, CCC has now won 16 straight and is ranked No. 1 in Class 3A.
"Everything worked out for us in the tournament," Marauders coach Todd Vaughan said.
The good fortune has not just been with CCC's pitching staff. The Marauders have plenty of offense, too.
Sam Mende and McLemore combined for 17 hits in the tournament. So far this season, all but one starter has hit at least one home run.
"We're really balanced and swinging the bats well," Vaughan said.
CCC (17-1) will need a complete performance with a brutal upcoming schedule. The Marauders face Canterbury, Miami Gulliver Prep, Miami Florida Christian, Jesuit, Bradenton Pendleton and Sarasota Cardinal Mooney the next two weeks.
Dunedin Spring Classic all-tournament team: Pitchers: Jacob Barnes (St. Petersburg), Mike Foster (Countryside), Joey Kase (Tarpon Springs), Max Kreuter (Dunedin), Zach Olson (CC Catholic), Taylor Scaggs (East Lake), Ryan Weber (CC Catholic).
Catchers: Lee Kimbrell (Tates Creek, Ky.), Ryan Schneider (Dunedin).
Infielders: Nick Freburg (Tarpon Springs), Will Fulmer (East Lake), Sam Mende (CC Catholic), Ray Navarro (Miami Florida Christian), Jake Rogers (Dunedin), Jamison Sweat (Palm Harbor U), Gabe Torres (Countryside), Casey Turgeon (Dunedin).
Outfielders: Leo Carrillo (Florida Christian), James Dowdell (CC Catholic), Nick Franz (East Lake), Logan Jackson (Tates Creek, Ky.), Walter Lamerson (Northeast), Chris Nash (Tarpon Springs), Max Priest (Dunedin).
Utility: Billy Glassner (Pinellas Park), Clay Kollenbaum (Dunedin), Nathan Malendez (Miami Florida Christian), Gordon McLean (St. Petersburg), Joe McLemore (CC Catholic), Kyle Perry (Countryside).
Pitching MVP: Zach Olson (CC Catholic); hitting MVP: Sam Mende (CC Catholic); tournament MVP: Joe McLemore (CC Catholic).