Rick Chapman has had a trip to the Keys planned for quite some time. He was going to head South right after the season ended.
Then his Seminole team went and messed up his plans. Seminole eliminated the defending Class 5A state runners-up Wednesday, handing Dunedin a 7-6 loss.
"There's no place I'd rather be," Chapman said.
He will be at Dunedin Stadium at 8 p.m. Friday as the Warhawks (20-8) take on Countryside, a 3-2 winner over Clearwater, in the District 9 final.
With one out in the top of the seventh, leadoff batter Kevin Cordes _ who enjoyed a 3-for-5 night _ hit a two-run double. That capped a three-run inning for the Warhawks who trailed 6-4.
"They would fall behind, but nobody was going to take it from them," Chapman said about his Warhawks killer instinct.
Seminole took a 4-1 lead into the sixth inning as the Falcons made a bevy of mental mistakes. Dunedin committed five errors and Seminole starter Will Ganci picked off three runners.
But the Falcons didn't concede the game. They battled back with five runs as Ty Banks hit a two-run single up the middle to give Dunedin its first lead.
The late game was also decided in the final at-bat. Charlie Carapazza drove in brother Vic with the game-winning run with two out in the bottom of the seventh inning. Charlie, who also had a two-run triple in the first, drove in all three Cougar runs.
Countryside (17-10) took a 2-0 lead into the fifth inning as starter Greg Olsen struck out six of the first nine Clearwater batters. The Tornadoes, playing without star hitter Bill Nahorodny, who injured his hand, and Shawn Gayton, who was removed from the team because of off-the-field trouble, tied the score without getting a hit in the fifth inning.
Mike Krentzman drew a leadoff walk and came around to score. Gary Sullivan also walked and scored.
5A-8: Hudspeth slams
door, Spongers make final
NEW PORT RICHEY _ Pat Hudspeth just teased Springstead, got it feeling a little confident before shutting the door.
The Tarpon Springs pitcher allowed three hits in the top of the first inning _ including a two-run home run by Sean Stalton _ but no-hit the Eagles the rest of the way in a 5-2 victory in the Class 5A, District 8 semifinals at Ridgewood High.
The victory advanced the Spongers (19-9) to the championship game at 7:30 p.m. Friday against Ridgewood (23-6), a 7-2 winner over Land O'Lakes.
"That's the way to make an adjustment," Tarpon Springs coach Scott Decatur said of Hudspeth. "His pitches were up a little bit, and he brought them down. That made the difference."
Hudspeth (7-4) kept Springstead (17-12) off balance with a variety of off-speed pitches. He struck out five, walked three and retired the last eight he faced.
Trouble developed in the fifth inning when Hudspeth walked two and faced a runner on third and two out. But the left-hander struck out Stalton to end the threat.
Tarpon Springs' Trevor Rhodes, who won Tuesday's game over Sickles with a solo home run, poked a two-run homer in the first to tie Springstead at 2.
Tarpon Springs went up 4-2 in the second with runs on a throwing error and Steve Creney's single. Jon Godwin's solo home run in the fourth, ended the scoring.
_ DAMIAN CRISTODERO