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)

Saladino: Tampa Catholic's Packrall is crucial at crunch time


Times Staff Writer

BRANDON — There was no doubt in Tampa Catholic coach Rich Arena's mind he was going to sophomore pitcher Preston Packrall in the ninth inning of the Crusaders' Saladino quarterfinal game against Jefferson on Wednesday afternoon.

Packrall has served as Tampa Catholic's late-inning reliever throughout the tournament. He pitched two innings against Riverview on Saturday morning, then an inning in the Crusaders' win over Newsome a few hours later. So after pitching in back-to-back games Saturday, Arena could ride Packrall through extra innings Wednesday.

"There was no question I wanted him on the mound," Arena said. "We just needed to wait for them to make a mistake. He's a strike machine. He's been in some big games for us."

Packrall added two scoreless innings in Tampa Catholic's 4-3 walkoff win, allowing a hit and a walk. But he also scored the winning run in the 10th. He led off the inning with a single then came around to score on an errant throw that went past first.

The win was Tampa Catholic's seventh in a row, and places the Crusaders in semifinals against Hillsborough at 4 p.m. today.

"I just go in there knowing I've got to get the job done," Packrall said. "My team's got my back and I've got their back. It feels good that they have faith in me to shut the door."

Saladino: Tampa Catholic's Packrall is crucial at crunch time 04/10/08 [Last modified: Friday, April 11, 2008 10:08am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Sunday Morning Quarterback, Week 5


    Team of the Week | Armwood

    Armwood High School defensive end and outside linebacker Fitzroy Gardner during the first half of the Armwood at Jefferson football game in Tampa, Fla., on Friday, September 22, 2017.
  2. Gators rally past Kentucky, streak hits 31


    LEXINGTON, Ky. — For the second week in a row, Florida found itself storming the field in a game that came down to the last second. A 57-yard field-goal attempt by Kentucky kicker Austin MacGinnis came just a few feet short of making history and snapping a 30-year losing streak, as the No. 20 Gators escaped a …

    Florida wide receiver Brandon Powell (4) scores a touchdown during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Kentucky, Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017, in Lexington, Ky.
  3. Pen makes it way too interesting as Rays hang on for 9-6 win


    A couple of home runs provided the news pegs of the night for the Rays, but it was more topical to talk about what nearly happened as they hung on for a 9-6 win over the Orioles.

    Lucas Duda's three-run homer in the third inning was the Rays' record-breaking 217th of the season, as well as his …

    Lucas Duda's three-run homer in the third inning was the Rays' record-breaking 217th of the season.
  4. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Saturday's Rays-Orioles game

    The Heater

    RHP Jake Odorizzi admitted he probably should have gone on the DL sooner than late July for the back stiffness that was keeping him from throwing the ball where he wanted to. He has since found an impressive groove, with another strong outing Saturday.

  5. Matt Baker's takeaways from Florida State-N.C. State


    RB Cam Akers still looks like a former high school quarterback at times. His first two touches (30 yards) were special, but the freshman juked instead of powering ahead on his third (an unsuccessful third-and-1 rush). That's why the Seminoles are easing him in, as they did with Dalvin Cook three years ago.

    Running back Cam Akers carries for a first down during the third quarter as FSU eases the freshman into the college game.