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Crystal River clinches top seed

Crystal River sent a message to Dunnellon and the rest of Class 3A, District 6 on Thursday night.

The Pirates (14-1, 8-0) banged out 16 hits to beat the Tigers 8-0 and clinch the top seed for next month's district tournament.

"This was our No. 1 objective," Crystal River coach Brent Hall said. "We wanted to be district champs and show that we are ready to play anywhere and any time."

The Tigers (9-3, 3-2), who defeated the Pirates in last year's district title game, could do little against Crystal River pitcher Jimmy Metz (6-0), who went the distance, allowing two hits and tying a season high with 13 strikeouts.

"Metz is Metz," Dunnellon coach Joe Buccheri said. "We have to hit the ball better if we want to have a chance at defeating them."

Clayton Trenary, who finished with three hits and four RBIs, got the Pirates started quickly with a two-run, opposite-field homer off Dunnellon's Kyle Ginley (3-1) in the first inning.

Crystal River scored four runs in the first to grab control. All nine Pirates starters had at least one hit. Metz, Kyle Griffin, Will Bleakley and Ryan Starkey had two hits for the Pirates.

"This is the most complete offensive ballgame we have had here in two years," Hall said.