. fast facts
Lakewood — Jimmy Lynch, Chris Derby, Keegan Oberer and Nate Plaines; Shorecrest — Andrew Roy and John Rothwell; Largo —JL Monson and Spencer Ashworth; Gibbs — Brandon Clemons
MVP — Marc Brakeman, Shorecrest
ST. PETERSBURG — Lakewood used clutch pitching and strong defense Saturday to beat host Shorecrest 3-2 and win the championship game of the Shorecrest Rally baseball tournament.
"The defense was all about concentration," Spartans coach Richard Fabrizi said. "It can be tough on a grass infield, but they always stayed with it and got an out."
Lakewood took 1-0 lead in the first inning when leftfielder Troy Matthews doubled, stole third and scored on a pass ball. Shorecrest freshman Marc Brakeman then struck out the side.
Lakewood freshman Jimmy Lynch no-hit the Chargers through 41/3 innings before Tyler Larson singled. But Larson was caught stealing and Lynch got the next batter to fly out.
"Lynch was unbelievable today," Fabrizi said. "He's a 15-year-old freshman throwing like a senior. He put the ball right where he needed to place it."
The Spartans got to Brakeman for two more runs in the sixth inning. Keegan Oberer reached on an error. After a strikeout, the Spartans loaded the bases as Trayton Thomason walked and Jordan Lindsay singled.
Jackson Shedden hit a potential double-play ball, but the shortstop overthrew first, allowing Oberer and Thomason to score for a 3-0 lead.
Shorecrest closed the gap in the bottom of the inning. Lynch gave up back-to-back walks, and after getting the next two batters out, Brakeman, the tournament MVP, hit a two-run double.
The Chargers threatened in the seventh, putting runners on first and second, but Brian Replogle recorded a strikeout to end the game.
"We did what we wanted to do in getting the three wins," Fabrizi said. "We needed to get into a rhythm with the tough week ahead. We can really make a run for the district this week."
Lynch, also on the all-tournament team, gave up only two hits over his six innings, striking out six.
"We learned we can play with any team," Chargers coach Don Reed said of his young squad. "We have made progress throughout the year and become more confident."
Brakeman went the seven innings, giving up four hits and two walks while striking out 12.
In the early game, Largo defeated Gibbs 9-3 behind the strong pitching of Spencer Ashworth, who threw a complete game, giving up nine hits while striking out eight. Austin Lowther had three hits and drove in two runs for the Packers.