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Palma Ceia scores in bunches

If Joe Hafner was impressed by his team's offense during the Tapi Rodriguez Tournament, he must have been blown away Saturday.

Hafner, the manager of the Palma Ceia junior All-Stars, guided his squad to a city championship by outscoring opponents 55-20 in six games. Palma Ceia muscled its way past Northside 19-1 on Saturday in the first round of the District 6 tournament.

The host team got going with two runs in the first and picked it up in the second. Matt Dowell hit a run-scoring double, and Peto Kirkwood crushed a double off the wall in center to make it 6-0. By the end of the third, it was 15-0.

Big scores were en vogue on the first day of the tournaments. In minor (9- and 10-year-old) baseball at Palma Ceia, Northside could barely be contained as it beat Skyway 18-1. Northside scored 10 runs before Skyway recorded an out in the second.

"We just did what we needed to," Northside manager Jim Beerman said. "We only had three or four solid hits. We found some holes. But this is going to be a pretty good team in the tournament."

Nick Barker and Mike Turk (2-for-2, two walks) set the table, and Max Beerman (double and triple) and Tyler Siegel supplied the power. Siegel caught the first three innings and narrowly missed a home run when he smacked a double off the 210-foot sign in center.

Northside faces the host team, Palma Ceia, today, with the winner meeting Bayshore on Monday. Bayshore beat Interbay 16-2 on Saturday.

Other lopsided scores included Tampa Bay's major baseball team 16-1 against the Yellow Jackets. The best output of the day was Citrus Park's senior baseball team and the junior Yellow Jackets with 20 runs.

West Tampa's 6-3 victory against Northwest had a little more tension as it was 2-2 after three. Northwest was lucky to be that close as Antonio Saez escaped a bases loaded jam with a strikeout in the second and got out of trouble again in the third.

Northwest tied it in the bottom half of that inning as Joe Lavandera hit a run-scoring double and scored on a wild pitch.

West Tampa took the lead with a run in the fourth and kept it with stellar defense in the bottom half. Northwest had runners on second and third with one out, but West Tampa turned a tricky double play, picking the runner off second then firing home for the third out.

West Tampa got some cushion in the fifth when Daniel Coria tripled to deep right to drive in his team's fourth run. Ronnie Mills' infield single brought home Coria to make it 5-2.

West Tampa faces MacDill today.

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