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4A REGION BASEBALL: FINAL-INNING GRAND SLAM PUTS JESUIT ON TOP

TAMPA - Hyer Family Park, Jesuit's new baseball complex, lived up to its name Friday night.

Max Beermann's walk-off, grand-slam home run to the opposite field kept going higher and higher. Once the majestic shot landed beyond the left-centerfield fence to cap the six-run seventh, Jesuit's improbable comeback was complete in a 9-7 victory over Lakewood Ranch in a Class 4A region semifinal thriller.

It was the Tigers' first playoff game on their renovated field.

The Tigers (27-6) are one win from returning to the state final four. It was a numbing defeat for the Mustangs (24-7), who lost in the same round to Jesuit last year and led 7-3 in the seventh.

"I thought if we got to Beermann, the game would be over," Jesuit coach Richie Warren said. "I'm glad Max made my prophecy come true."

Lakewood Ranch starter Brett Hanewich had limited Jesuit to five hits through six innings.

But he allowed four singles to begin the seventh, including Pete Alonso's two-run hit, and was replaced after his 109th pitch by lefty Philip Dilandro.

Nolan Schultz reached on a fielder's choice to load the bases. The left-handed hitting Beermann followed with his eighth homer this year.

"Normally a high school pitcher is going to throw a fastball over the plate (on the 3-2 count)," Beermann said. "We were down four runs. It was my fault all game."

Beermann, a first baseman, was referring to a ball he dropped in the second that led to a pair of unearned runs.

After Beermann's error, five of the next seven Lakewood Ranch batters reached as the Mustangs went in front. Adrian Chacon was the winning pitcher in relief.

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