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)

To live down past, Falcons rely every name in lineup

SARASOTA â€" They start at the bottom. They finish you on top.

And so it goes for the Dunedin Falcons and their recession proof lineup, which scored 16 runs to win a game it had to Wednesday night at the Class 5A state semifinals.

Now, the ghosts of 2002 can be placed gently into the casket.

Tonight, with one more win, it can be lowered into the ground.

It was that outstanding team, 32-0 and on the brink of winning Pinellas County’s second straight national championship, that has defined the Falcons ever since.

They lost here, in this same spot, in this all important baseball bracket where the current Falcons broke through against Brandon.

A tricky lefty named Ronny Lowe shut them down.

They have yet to live it down.

Until now.

“Guess what? It’s a shot,’’ said pitching coach Dennis Duncan, who can ask for nothing more in his final game at Dunedin; he will be leaving for a job on the staff at St. Pete College.

Getting here was just another step for Dunedin, which is looking for its first title since 1964. That’s an awfully long time for a program with the Falcon’s pedigree.

“We’re one game away from silencing everyone. One game away, one more good performance,’’ said Clay Kollenbaum, who hit a homer, double and drove in five and is the poster boy for Dunedin’s fiery run.

He was good during the season. Better in the districts. Brilliant in the regionals.

Perfect at the state semifinal.

Just like his team.

“We got hot at the right time,’’ said pitcher Max Kreuter, who pitched his last game and is now 13-0. “We’re rolling.’â

Kollenbaum heads up a top half of the lineup that is tearing it up right now. The Nos. 1-5 hitters hit three homers, scored eight of the runs, drove in 12 of them.

But it starts here, in the top of the second inning, trailing 2-0.

At the bottom.

A guy you may not know, like Ryan Schneider, walks.

A guy you’ve barely heard of, Cam Fisher, singles.

A guy who shares a first name with one of the stars but little else, Max Priest, walks.

A guy who plays football, Mike Kumbat, drives in the first run with a fly ball.

Then, you get the top of the order. The guys you do know. The names you recognize.

When trouble arrived for the Brandon pitchers Wednesday night, against the players they had already heard all about, the bases were usually occupied by the guys they handn’t.

“When you score 16 runs, that means everyone is contributing,’’ said Schneider, the senior catcher who started the two biggest innings by walking and taking one for the team.

After Kumbat’s sacrifice fly, it was Max Kreuter’s three-run homer that gave Dunedin the lead for good.

“It was Ryan Schnieder’s that set it up with his at bat,’’ said coach Tom Hilbert. “Kreuter’s home run was the momentum changer.’â

Kreuter, the University of Tampa-bound lefty, weaved the Falcons into and out of trouble on the hill all night, but in the end, he only allowed a few meaningless runs.

In his final high school pitching performance, he fought through a slightly pulled groin, more than 100 pitches, to get to his last one.

Fastball.

Strike three.

The next inning, the guys â€" Schneider, Fisher, Priest, Kumbat â€" were at it again, setting up six more runs, putting the finishing touches on the 16-3 rout.

From the bottom, to a chance to finish on top.

To live down past, Falcons rely every name in lineup 05/15/08 [Last modified: Thursday, October 28, 2010 1:57pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. For starters: Rays at Twins, with Cobb pitching with a purpose

    Blogs

    UPDATE, 11:06: Here is the Rays lineup, with Sucre catching and Martinez at 2b:

  2. St. Petersburg's Sebastien Bourdais vows to return for IndyCar finale

    Auto racing

    INDIANAPOLIS — Sebastien Bourdais was in one of the best race cars he'd ever had, so fast that most of his competitors thought he would win the pole for the Indianapolis 500.

    Sebastien Bourdais does physical therapy at the Rehabilitation Hospital of Indiana in Indianapolis. Bourdais broke his pelvis, hip and two ribs in an accident during qualifying for the Indianapolis 500 on May 20. He plans to return home to St. Petersburg soon to continue therapy. [Associated Press]
  3. Yellow cards stall Rowdies offense in tie with St. Louis

    Soccer

    ST. PETERSBURG — It's not the result they wanted, but it certainly could have been worse. Neill Collins' 87th-minute header off a corner kick was the reward the Rowdies settled for Saturday night during a 1-1 draw with St. Louis before an announced 6,068 at Al Lang Stadium.

  4. Calvary Christian routs Pensacola Catholic to win state baseball title

    Baseballpreps

    FORT MYERS — Calvary Christian left no doubt as to which baseball team in Class 4A was the best in Florida this season. The Warriors defeated Pensacola Catholic 11-1 in six innings Saturday night at Hammond Stadium to claim the school's first state championship in any team sport. It also solidified a 30-0 season. …

    Matheu Nelson celebrates after scoring on a wild pitch during the first inning, when Calvary Christian took a 6-0 lead.
  5. Numerous lapses add up to frustrating Rays loss to Twins

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — While the Rays made some good defensive plays, threw a couple of big pitches when they needed to and got a few, and just a few, key hits, there were some obvious things they did wrong that led to them losing Saturday's game to the Twins 5-3:

    Rays reliever Tommy Hunter says the Twins’ tiebreaking homer came on a pitch that was “close to where I wanted it.”