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)

Warriors' Layner gets lift he needs after grandfather's funeral

Northeast’s Phillip Woods tags out Osceola’s Brock Jensen at second for an out in the third inning. The Warriors led 6-0 by the end of the inning, thanks to a three-run homer by Scott Schlapinski.


Northeast’s Phillip Woods tags out Osceola’s Brock Jensen at second for an out in the third inning. The Warriors led 6-0 by the end of the inning, thanks to a three-run homer by Scott Schlapinski.

ST. PETERSBURG — Taylor Layner attended a funeral Friday morning for his grandfather, then honored him later with a pitching performance that was, simply put, heavenly.

Throwing on probably the toughest day of his life, the Osceola lefty was outstanding against Northeast: a career-high 17 strikeouts and one hit allowed in an 8-1 victory.

In the past, Taylor Layner would have headed home and his first phone call would have been to John Layner, who died last Saturday and was buried Friday in Bushnell.

"Today was tough," an emotionally drained Layner said. "After every game since I was 5, I'd call him after every game to tell him how I did.

"Now I can't do that anymore, but at least now he can make it to every game. That's what I was thinking when I was out there pitching tonight."

Layner, who was hitting 86-88 mph on the gun, seemed able to muster something special every time he fell behind against Viking hitters.

Setting the tone, he opened the game with three straight balls but came back to strike out leadoff hitter Walter Lamerson. He fell behind 3-0, 2-0 and 1-0 on the three batters he faced in the second and struck out all of them. In the third inning, he fell behind Lamerson again 3-0 before another strikeout.

Layner struck out the side in the second and third innings, and had eight straight at one point.

"He started texting me first thing Friday morning, telling me he was playing," Osceola coach Kevin Mullins said. "He kept telling me he wanted to do it."

Tyler Brown hit a home run in the second inning for Osceola (9-2) and Scott Schlapinski added a three-run homer in the third inning to make it 6-0.

Schlapinski's homer, his third of the season, was part of a 2-for-3 night, as he added an RBI single and bases-loaded walk to finish with five RBIs.

Northeast's Shawn Delmontagne was the only Viking to touch Layner. He homered in the fourth inning and doubled in the seventh. But after his second hit, Layner finished off the game with two strikeouts, exceeding his normal pitch count by a measure Mullins was unwilling to admit.

"Thanks for the seventh inning," he told the coach who had reluctantly let him go back out to finish the game. "I needed that."

Warriors' Layner gets lift he needs after grandfather's funeral 03/20/10 [Last modified: Saturday, March 20, 2010 1:11am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rowdies shut out at Pittsburgh


    PITTSBURGH — The Rowdies lost their first USL game in nearly a month, 1-0 to Pittsburgh on Thursday night.

  2. LSU's Paul Mainieri defends FSU's Mike Martin; Gators play Friday


    OMAHA, Neb. — LSU coach Paul Mainieri says whether Florida State's Mike Martin ever wins a national championship should have no bearing on how his long career in college baseball is judged.

    MADE IT: Josh Watson beats the tag of Louisville catcher Colby Fitch during TCU’s 4-3 win in the College World Series.
  3. Lightning fans, don't get attached to your first-round draft picks

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — When Lightning GM Steve Yzerman announces his first-round pick tonight in the amateur draft at No. 14, he'll invite the prospect onto the stage for the once-in-a-lifetime photo opportunity.

    Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Jonathan Drouin (27) eludes  Montreal Canadiens left wing Phillip Danault (24) during the second period of Wednesday???‚??„?s (12/28/16) game between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Montreal Canadiens at the Amalie Arena in Tampa.
  4. Lightning GM Steve Yzerman also has top-9 wing on his wish list

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — Much has been made about the Lightning's interest in bolstering its blue line, even after last week's acquisition of defense prospect Mikhail Sergachev.

    Tampa Bay Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman gestures as he speaks to the media about recent trades during a news conference before an NHL hockey game against the Carolina Hurricanes Wednesday, March 1, 2017, in Tampa, Fla. The Lightning, over the past few days, have traded goaltender Ben Bishop to the Los Angeles Kings, forward Brian Boyle to the Toronto Maple Leafs, and forward Valtteri Filppula to the Philadelphia Flyers. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara) TPA101