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Palm Harbor 15-16 rides 8-run inning to win

DUNEDIN — With thunderstorms looming Wednesday evening, Palm Harbor's 15-16 baseball team made quick work of Dunedin, winning 14-2 in a District 12 semifinal game shortened to five innings because of the mercy rule.

Palm Harbor advances to play the winner of the late Holiday-West Pasco game for the title today.

Palm Harbor starter Mike VanAmburg pitched all five innings, allowing four hits with six strikeouts. Palm Harbor turned a 4-2 game into a rout with eight runs in the fourth inning. James Petika, who went 4-for-4 with three RBIs, singled home a run, and later Dom Cerniglia doubled home two more to highlight the inning.

Safety Harbor wins 11-12 softball title

Safety Harbor rode its defense and an eight-run inning to an 11-5 victory over West Pasco to win the 11-12 District 12 softball title.

Turiah Benhakuma made two spectacular diving grabs at shortstop to record outs for Safety Harbor and in the sixth, Jessica Hall ran down a ball in centerfield and made a shoestring catch.

Trailing 2-1 in the third, Safety Harbor scored eight runs, benefiting from several walks, to take a 9-2 lead.

Samantha Sharpe pitched a complete game for Safety Harbor, which begins sectional play at 6 p.m. Friday in Crystal River.

11-12 baseball

Derek Gibree threw a two-hitter and Andre Otero hit two homers for seven RBIs as Largo beat Dunedin 11-0 to remain undefeated in tournament play and advance to today's District 12 semifinal against Countryside.

Gibree went the distance on the mound for Largo and also had three hits at the plate — a double and two singles.

Otero hit a first-inning grand slam and smashed a three-run shot in the fourth to cap his night. Ryan Cunningham and Angel Torres each had two hits for Largo.

13-14 baseball

Vince Stirn hit two doubles to deep centerfield to drive in three runs as East Lake beat West Pasco 5-2 to reach the District 12 semifinals.

Joey Pepe also drove in a run for the East Lake, which advances to play Clearwater today. Palm Harbor beat Tarpon Springs 12-2 to reach the other semifinal against Dunedin.

Ramin Ghalampour started for East Lake and pitched four innings to get the victory. Pat Moyer came on and retired West Pasco over the final two innings to earn the save.

For late Little League scores and schedules, visit community.tampabay.com.

FAST FACTS

Today's schedule

District 12 baseball

11-12 semifinals
at West Pasco

East Lake vs. Oldsmar-Tarpon Springs winner, 7 p.m.

Countryside vs. Largo, 7 p.m.

13-14 semifinals
at Engelbert Complex

Dunedin vs. Palm Harbor, 7 p.m.

Clearwater vs. East Lake, 7 p.m.

15-16 championship
at Engelbert Complex

Palm Harbor vs. Holiday-West Pasco winner, 7 p.m.

Palm Harbor 15-16 rides 8-run inning to win 07/10/08 [Last modified: Thursday, July 10, 2008 6:41am]
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