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Countryside trips Dunedin National

(ran LA edition of LT)

Before the game Monday night, Countryside coach Steve Allen told his 10-12-year-old players they were going to make history.

And that's exactly what they did as they came from behind to edge perennial powerhouse Dunedin National 6-5 to win the south division title in the District 12 Majors baseball Tournament of Champions. It was the first time Countryside has defeated Dunedin National twice in the tournament (it posted a 5-4 victory earlier).

Countryside will play the winner of Tuesday's north division title game between East Lake and Palm Harbor National for the overall District 12 crown.

"I told them we have a chance to make history for ourselves," Allen said. "All the boys were really keyed for this one."

After falling behind 4-1 to the defending District 12 champions, Countryside scored four runs in the third inning to take a 5-4 lead. That rally was sparked by Bronk Allen's double, Sean Donahue's triple and a single by Kyle Lindskog. Dunedin National tied it in the fourth inning before Countryside's Allen hit a double to score Matt Guthrie with the winning run.

For the game, Allen had three hits, two RBI and scored two runs while Brendan Takacs came on in relief and fanned five in three innings.

In other Majors action, Cory Agar hit a pair of homers and knocked in four runs while Matt Banas added a homer as Palm Harbor National trimmed East Lake 5-4 in a winners bracket game and forced a second game for the north title.

Mark Ennis and James Boothe played strong defense to aid the pitching of Banas, who fanned nine. Dan and Brad Roberts had two hits apiece in East Lake's losing effort.

Juniors baseball (age 13): Mike Elyward and Mike Boychuck combined on a four-hitter as Safety Harbor defeated Largo National 7-5 in a District 12 winners bracket game Monday night.

Elyward pitched the first four innings and Boychuck the last three.

John Berard and Elyward keyed the offense with doubles, and Gene Benton and Jeff McMullen had singles. Berard played strong defense behind the plate.

Safety Harbor plays Dunedin National tonight at 7 in a winners bracket game.

Seniors baseball (ages 13-15): P.J. LaVenia and Ryan Proly combined on a two-hitter as Countryside downed Tarpon Springs 5-1 in a losers bracket game Monday.

Proly and LaVenia also led the offense with three hits apiece, including a triple and double from each. Matt Peek added a double. Jason Clark and Dan Jandernal played strong defense.

In other action, Rick Padinske had four hits, including a homer, and knocked in three runs as Palm Harbor American outslugged East Lake 10-8 in a losers bracket game Monday.

Kris Maronpot contributed two hits while scoring four runs, and Aaron Gill added four RBI and two hits. Josh Vandenburg, Derek Carlson, Steve Bower and David Griffin played strong defense.

Dan Stillman had three RBI in a losing cause.

Majors softball (ages 10-12): Larissa Lanton scored the winning run in the eighth inning on a single by Tara Webb as Countryside trimmed Palm Harbor National 12-11. Lindsay Ijjas had a two-run double and an RBI single, and Alanna Hazzard, Marci Herman and Alison Bungert had key hits.

Seniors softball (ages 13-15): Vivian Ko had four hits and knocked in three runs to lead Palm Harbor American to an 18-8 thumping of Hudson in a losers bracket game Monday.

Heather Williams and Robyn Thomas contributed six hits and seven RBI between them, while Alice Hildick, Reagan Clements, Erin Mullen, Kristina Kennedy and Jayme Alberssen contributed two hits apiece.

Beth Cianfrone and Alberssen combined on a four-hitter for Palm Harbor American.

In other action, Keri Barlow came on in relief and gave up two hits over five innings as Countryside downed West Pasco 16-9 in a losers bracket game.

Kasey Dowd sparked the Countryside offense with four hits and six RBI. Michelle Ralat and Danielle Makoffke had two hits apiece and scored seven runs between them.

To report Little League highlights, please contact Wayne McKnight at 893-8129 or 867-8743. You can also fax information to 893-8782 anytime during the week. The information must include specific highlights of games or the season and important statistics. Please make sure all players' names are spelled correctly. To report scores only, please call 893-8201 and leave a message.