Like just about everything else for Bloomingdale this season, it took some time to get hot.
Trailing by two runs in the bottom of the sixth, the Bulls came out fighting to salvage their second-round game against East Bay. They reeled off five hits, including an inside-the-park homer, scored four back-to-back runs and defeated the Indians 5-2.
Bloomingdale catcher Ryan Collins heeded Coach K.B. Scull's advice to "use the whole field," and smacked the game's only homer with a shot down the rightfield line that rattled around in the bullpen. The hit also pushed Jake Stein across the plate and gave the Bulls a 3-2 lead.
The Indians (4-11) then allowed a hit, a walk and two wild pitches that scored Bloomingdale's Chris Kemper and Mitch Rodriguez.
It was the second consecutive win for the Bulls, who had only five wins going into the tournament. On the first day, they upset state-ranked Durant 4-3, snapping the Cougars' 12-game winning streak.
In other games, Brandon pitcher Josh Sawyer threw a two-hit shutout in a 1-0 win over Armwood, and Plant City beat TBT 8-6 with three runs in the seventh.
At Jefferson High
TAMPA _ Three games lasted all day and featured a little of everything: A severe beating (Plant defeated Hillsborough 11-4), a squeaker (Durant scored two in the seventh to beat Riverview 8-6), and a blowout (Jefferson defeated Blake 10-0 in five innings).
The first two games were slugfests. Plant and Durant collected 14 hits apiece and each team had five players with two or more hits, while two others had three.
Durant appeared like it was going to take control, scoring five runs in the first inning. But the Sharks, behind some timely hitting and five Cougar errors, tied it up at six after six innings.
Riverview's Dustin Dustin Hatcher struck the biggest blow, the day's only homer in the fourth.
Plant, meantime, jumped on Hillsborough for nine runs in the first two innings. The victory also improved the Panthers to 2-0 in the Saladino yellow bracket and assured them a trip to Thursday's quarterfinals.
In Monday's nightcap, Jefferson punched out only four hits, but took advantage of seven walks and seven Blake errors, the last of which was a dropped fly ball that allowed two to score in the fifth.
_ SCOTT PURKS
At Sickles High
TAMPA _ Sickles first baseman Grant Chapman, the MVP in last year's championship run by the Gryphons, slugged a home run and drove in five as Sickles defeated Alonso 13-1 in six innings.
In an earlier contest, Leto (6-7) got a clutch, seventh-inning relief effort from left-hander Tommy Dominguez as the Falcons edged Robinson 3-2.
Chapman's two-run homer in the first got things rolling for Sickles (9-5), which scored in every inning. Chapman also had a bases-loaded walk and a two-run single.
Brian Scoville had three hits and David Ivey two as eight Gryphons hit safely. That was more than enough offense for winner Chris Delaney (2-2) and Shane Buriff, who combined for 11 strikeouts and limited the Ravens to five singles.
Alonso also hurt itself with five errors as Daniel Johns was tagged with the loss.
In the day's first game, Dominguez preserved Leto's one-run lead by retiring three straight in the bottom of the seventh with Knights on second and third.
_ DON JENSEN
At Gaither High
TAMPA _ Games in the Blue Division were postponed by rain. They will be made up today.
King (10-6) will play Wharton (3-10) at 4 p.m., and host Gaither (9-7) will play Chamberlain (7-7) at 7.
_ JOEL POILEY