In the opening round of the Steve Georgiadis Baseball Tournament on Saturday, Clearwater Central Catholic cruised past Boca Ciega 13-1 and Gibbs held on to top Osceola 4-3.
Gibbs (5-6) got solid pitching from freshman Boof Bonser (1-1), who struck out 11 in seven innings. The Gladiators got off to a fast start in the first inning as they loaded the bases with their first three batters. Bonser helped his cause with a tremendous blast to centerfield. The ball went 370 feet and bounced over the fence for a two-run ground-rule double. A sacrifice by Kris Nelson scored Eric Quever for a 3-0 lead.
In the second inning, Brant Houston cracked a single to rightfield, stole second, and scored on a hit by Leo Neuner to put the Gladiators up 4-0.
But just when it looked like a Gibbs blowout, the Warriors (4-9) stormed back with four consecutive hits to start the third. Steve Civello and Chris Huber each run-scoring doubles. After the rough start, Warriors pitcher Riley Weingart (0-3) controlled the Gladiators in the later innings with a variety of pitches. No Gibbs batter reached base again until Joe Liberty got a single in the bottom of the sixth.
Osceola pulled to 4-3 in the fifth as Huber singled, moved to second on a wild pitch and scored on Keith DeLeeuw's sacrifice fly. However, the Gladiators held on in the top of seventh with two excellent putouts by shortstop Quever.
Gibbs coach Bob Shaw said his team's youth and inexperience has made it difficult for it to keep leads in games.
"We have a lot of ninth- and 10th-graders who have gotten a lot of playing time and have had to grow up quick," Shaw said. "It's a slow process. We need to learn to keep our intensity up the whole game."
Gibbs moves on to face host Seminole at 5 on Monday.
In the opening game, CCC (10-3) blasted three homers en route to its blowout of Boca Ciega (7-6).
After stranding three runners in the first inning, the Marauders took the lead on a three-run shot to leftfield by Chris Hart. Two batters later, P.
J. Lavenia knocked out a two-run homer to the same spot.
Marauders pitcher Aaron Diehl improved to 4-0 as pitched four innings of no-hit, shutout ball. Diehl also added a two-run homer to left in the third inning.
What might have started as a pitchers' duel between Diehl and Pirates starter Loren Pincus (3-2) ended when Pincus was pulled in the third, after giving up 11 runs.
"We took advantage of what they gave us," CCC coach Todd Vaughan said. "And the wind was blowing out for us."
The Marauders face Leesburg at 8 p.m. on Monday and Boca Ciega faces Osceola at 11 a.m. in the consolation bracket.
In the 5 p.m. game, Lakewood was trounced by West Springfield (Virginia) 10-3.