Citrus Park American kept its unbeaten playoff streak intact last weekend with a pair of one-run victories in the Section III Senior Baseball tournament at Lakeland.
Then things got really exciting.
The team of 14- and 15-year-old all-stars captured the championship Tuesday night with an 8-7 defeat of Orlando Windermere. Tied at 6 through six innings, Citrus Park staged a two-out rally in the seventh. Steve McRae, who went 4-for-4, singled and scored on Brett Galvin's infield single. Jay Chantlos, who singled, then scored the game-winner on Jeris McIntyre's double.
Citrus Park American topped Lake Wales 4-3 Saturday and nipped Orlando Windermere 3-2 Sunday to earn a berth in the state tournament, set for this weekend at Dunedin's Englebert Complex.
"The kids really play well together," manager Ken Lucas said. "I believe they're good enough to go all the way."
Starting left-hander Ryan Gloger pitched a one-hitter in the first game against Orlando Windermere, striking out 13 and walking three. Gloger, Citrus Park American's No. 3 batter, also belted his second home run of the post-season, a two-run shot in the seventh.
The game against Lake Wales was The game against Lake Wales was just as close. Tied at 3 in the seventh, Jeris McIntyre hit a leadoff double and scored the game-winner when Jeff Lucas laid down a suicide squeeze bunt along the first-base line.
Before reaching the sectionals, the team finished a five-game sweep in District 6 with a nine-inning victory over the Yellowjackets for the district title. Brett Galvin and Matt Pagano each had RBI doubles in a six-run first inning, but the Yellowjackets tied the game at 7 to force extra innings. In the ninth, Citrus Park American loaded the bases and attempted the suicide squeeze three times. Gloger and Kris Wentzel each scored on straight steals and Galvin laid down a bunt to score Mike Chambliss.
Gloger wasn't the only pitcher to bring home wins. Before Tuesday's game, Chambliss had two victories while Adam Leo and Coker had one apiece.
SWIMMING: The Carrollwood Village Swim Team sent 19 swimmers to the Florida Senior Championships, which began Thursday and continue through Sunday at the YMCA Aquatic Center in Orlando.
The roster includes Molly Doyal, Melissa Lenny, Amy Fontanella, Megan Poirier, D'Arcy Spiese, Kristen Bolles, Christie Dykema, Jennifer Dziuvenis, Anna Griffiths, Kallie Krusoe, Kristy Parlett, Melissa Bradbury, Michelle Gorecki, Ryan Nelson, Douglas Sharpe, Ben Voiles, Scott Valins, Kyle Belz and Scott Parlett.