ST. PETERSBURG — At his best, Tyler Larson throws three pitches.
Tuesday against Sarasota Out-of-Door Academy, he used them all with precision.
The Shorecrest senior confounded hitters, leaving them lunging and lurching at pitches that looked like one thing but were another.
Larson pitched a shutout, allowing three hits and striking out 10 in a 7-0 victory in the Class 2A, District 11 semifinals.
The Chargers (18-8), the top seed, will host Northside Christian in Thursday's championship game. The Mustangs, the No. 3 seed, beat No. 2 Bradenton St. Stephen's 3-2.
"I was just fired up because I'm a senior and I knew it was either win or go home," said Larson, who improved to 6-2. "This was probably my best performance of the year."
All three hits Larson allowed were singles and he didn't allow a runner to reach scoring position. He also was economical, throwing just 79 pitches.
"Tyler was extremely good with his location and was able to get through a lot of quick innings," Shorecrest coach Don Reed said.
Larson had the winning hit, a double in the fourth inning that brought home Jon Oorlog to give the Chargers a 1-0 lead. In the sixth, Shorecrest widened the gap, scoring six runs and sending 10 batters up.
In the other semifinal, Northside Christian (13-12) beat St. Stephen's for the first time this season.
The Mustangs scored twice in the second inning and once in the fourth. The Falcons rallied with a run in the bottom of the fourth and another in the seventh.
A big difference in the game was Northside catcher Dalton Hughes, who threw out two runners at second and another at third. Kyle Turner pitched 61/3 innings and was relieved by Robbie Williams, who got the final two batters to strike out and ground out to end the game.
"It was huge for our catcher to throw those guys out," Northside Christian coach Raul Hernandez said. "It got us out of some jams and St. Stephen's start to second guess about whether to steal or not the rest of the game."