EAST LAKE — Adam Atkinson hit a run-scoring single with two outs in the 10th inning Friday, sending visiting Seminole to a 7-6 victory over East Lake in one of the longest games in the county this season.
"It was a great, tough game between two good teams," Seminole coach Greg Olson said. "I'm proud of my guys for showing the type of character to hang in this type of game for 10 innings and pull through."
Early on, it appeared as if the game would be a slugfest. There were a combined seven runs in the first inning and 11 runs through the first three.
Trailing 6-5, the Warhawks scored once in the fifth inning to tie the game. From then on, it was a struggle to produce any offense as relief pitchers found their groove.
East Lake had its best chance to pull ahead in the sixth inning when it had bases loaded with one out. But the Eagles had one batter strike out and another ground out to end the threat.
In the ninth inning, the Warhawks' Michael Mann led off with a triple but never scored after East Lake reliever Brian Johnson retired the next three batters.
That set the stage for Atkinson's heroics. Tim Lamoureux sealed the victory for Seminole by retiring the side in the bottom of the 10th inning.
"We've been in a lot of close games this season," Olson said. "That helped because we knew we were going to fight to get through this one."
Both teams had already lost to Dunedin in Class 5A, District 12 and could not afford another to stay in the hunt for one of the top two seeds.
The loss was tough for the Eagles, who now have three district losses. Just as frustrating for East Lake was how it let the game slip away. The Eagles struck out 15 times and stranded 13 baserunners.
Stephen Croyle, Morgan Cowan, Austin Bembnowski and Michael Slater had doubles to lead East Lake.