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)

Streaking Brandon squad takes control in 6A-8

BRANDON — In the eyes of Brandon coach Matt Stallbaumer, the formula to surviving a treacherous four-game, six-day run that could end up defining a season hinged on pitching and defense.

Having been able to save junior left-hander Chase Sparkman for the finale, Brandon's pivotal Class 6A-8 tilt against Alonso on Thursday night, was the key ingredient.

Sparkman, rarely used in a starting role, turned in arguably the best game of his high school career, throwing 62/3 scoreless innings of one-hit ball against the defending Class 6A state champion in a 5-0 win.

The victory, which completed a stretch that included wins over rival Armwood and district foes Bloomingdale and Plant, put Brandon (10-2, 5-1) in command of the district race.

"The positive of playing this many games in a week is that it's allowing you to get in a rhythm," Stallbaumer said. "The negative is if you're not playing well, is it a good thing? For us, it's been a good thing."

For Stallbaumer, the stretch evoked memories of Brandon's 18-game winning streak two years ago during the Eagles' run to the Class 5A state semifinals.

"The heart and soul of this team was part of one not too long ago," Stallbaumer said. "As sophomores they felt what it was like to bring it to the ballpark every day. For our younger kids to get that feeling, it's important."

Alonso (8-4, 3-3), which has now lost more games than it did during all of last season, was snakebit from the start.

Ravens starting pitcher Thomas Dorminy yielded just three hits but allowed five runs, including two unearned in the first inning after the first two hitters reached base on a wild pitch third strike and a throwing error. Both scored.

Sparkman didn't allow a hit for 52/3 innings, his no-hitter broken up by a Tyler Ding single.

"We know we're going to score runs," Sparkman said. "We just needed to make sure we got our pitching down."

And Brandon's big bats produced — centerfielder James Ramsay hit an RBI double that hit off the 380-foot marker in centerfield in a two-run third, and catcher Roderick Shoulders hit a mammoth homer in the fifth.

"It seemed like when the top of our lineup came around we made them make pitches," Stallbaumer said. "The answer was playing defense right behind that. Tonight from the first pitch to last pitch, we put together a good game."

Streaking Brandon squad takes control in 6A-8 03/18/10 [Last modified: Thursday, March 18, 2010 11:29pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. For starters: Rays vs. Angels and Trout, with Odorizzi on mound

    Blogs

    After losing Sunday's game but winning a third straight series, the Rays open a four-game series tonight against the Angels and Mike Trout.

    RHP Jake Odorizzi will be on the mound for the Rays, RHP J.C. Ramirez for the Angels.

    Evan Longoria is getting a DH day, so the Rays have rookie Daniel …

    Jake Odorizzi will be on the mound for the Rays.
  2. Lightning's Swedes live their dream in Worlds

    Blogs

    You could see it in his face.

    Lightning defenseman Anton Stralman screamed as he hoisted the World Championship trophy Sunday afternoon in Cologne, Germany, and it looked like an exhale that was years in the making. Stralman kissed the forehead of Swedish teammate Joel Lundqvist, the joy unmistakable.

    Victor Hedman of Sweden celebrate with his teammates after scoring the opening goal in the gold-medal game against Canada.
  3. Starting at top: O.J. Howard becomes first Bucs rookie to sign

    Blogs

    The Bucs have begun the process of signing their rookie draft picks and they started at the top.

    Alabama tight end O.J. Howard has signed a four-year contract with a fifth-year club option with the Bucs.
  4. Hey, somebody really ought to write about this Aaron Judge guy

    Blogs

    He can catch, too.

    It's no tall tale.

    Aaron Judge, The Amazing Colossal Man, has come and gone, but not before he stunned the Rays with a diving, game-saving catch in the sixth inning of Yankees 3-2 win Sunday at Tropicana Field. The 6-foot-7, 282-pound Judge robbed Evan Longoria of an RBI double and helped …

    Aaron Judge stunned the Rays with a diving, game-saving catch in the sixth inning of Yankees 3-2 win Sunday at Tropicana Field.
  5. FSU, Gators, USF and Miami all in Athlon preseason top 25

    Blogs

    The college football preseason magazines are trickling in, as our Joey Knight wrote earlier.