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Dunedin throttles Clearwater 11-1

With the way Dunedin has hammered the ball this season, it's easy to forget the Falcons are more than just bashers.

Take for example Wednesday's five-inning dismantling of rival Clearwater. The Falcons' 11-1 victory at the Carpenter Complex had its offensive fireworks _ including a mammoth home run by Brian Dopirak _ but slick fielding and a strong pitching performance by Jamie Garris might have had more to do with the win.

"It was a pretty decent night for us," Dunedin coach Tom Hilbert said.

The Tornadoes (6-8) never had a chance.

Clearwater had only two baserunners in the first three innings _ one on a hit and another on a passed ball on a third strike _ and both were wiped out by ground-ball double plays.

Garris, a senior right-hander, improved to 4-0. He allowed two hits, struck out five and gave up an unearned run in the fifth inning. All but two of the 15 batters he retired either struck out or grounded out.

Dopirak hit his fifth homer of the season over the left-centerfield fence in the first to give Dunedin a 2-0 lead.

Joey Angleberger and Cody O'Connell added ground-rule doubles that would have been homers in most high school ballparks, and both went 2-for-2 with three RBIs. Five Falcons scored two runs.

"They came out and were ready to go," Hilbert said. "Our guys were focused and knew what to do."

Dunedin, ranked No. 2 in the country according to Baseball America and No. 1 in Class 4A, is 16-0.