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SPARTANS' COMEBACK KEEPS SEASON ALIVE

After his team rallied to an improbable victory Wednesday and clinched their first region playoff berth since 2000, Lakewood coach Jayce Ganchou was at a loss for words.

So he ended up saying something unsuitable for a family newspaper, but quite frankly, perfectly acceptable for the moment.

Loosely translated: "Are you kidding me?"

His Spartans, down to their last three outs and trailing 6-2 entering the seventh inning, rallied to beat Boca Ciega 8-6 to advance to Friday's Class 5A, District 12 championship.

It all started with a 6-foot infield single by Laterian Latimer, followed by a groundout that could have been a double play if the Spartans centerfielder hadn't been on the move.

Cornelius Copeland tripled in a run and scored on Donovan Pink's single.

Mike Ferrandiz singled and after the second out, came around to score on Jamie Kane's single to tie the game.

The lead run scored on one of two costly Pirate errors, and Latimer got another chance and blooped a double into rightfield to drive in Kane.

"We thought we could do it, we really did," said Latimer, whose team is now 14-11.

Boca Ciega (11-15) had set the tempo. After mustering only three hits in the first four innings and trailing 2-1, the Pirates opened the fifth with eight hits in a row, including a double by Mark Miklos that drove in three and made it 4-2.

DUNEDIN 16, BRADENTON BAYSHORE 4: Jack Hamrick pitched a complete-game six-hitter and Dunedin got 12 hits in a 16-4 defeat of Bradenton Bayshore. The Falcons scored a run in the first, four each in the second and third innings and seven in the fourth. Austin Sweat was 3-for-3 with six RBIs. Alex Hart and Eric Sexton were both 2-for-3 and T.J. Alman had four runs scored for Dunedin.

* * *

3A-9: Paul does it all for Marauders

It's almost like David Paul knew exactly how many runs he needed to win his Class 3A, District 9 semifinal.

So in the first inning, the Clearwater Central Catholic ace tripled in teammates Derek Gibree and Brenden Overton, which was more than enough as he shut down Northside Christian in a 5-1 victory at St. Petersburg Catholic.

Matt Gladfelter was the only Mustang to reach third against Paul, tripling in the second inning and scoring on a flyball. Paul, who hasn't lost a decision this year, responded by retiring the next 11 batters on the way to a complete game three-hitter with six strikeouts.

CCC (22-4) will meet Calvary Christian (21-6) in Friday's final. Calvary beat Indian Rocks Christian 5-0 behind the pitching of Nate Reed (7-3) and a three-run homer by Grant McDaniel.

McDaniel's blast, his first of the season, came in the sixth inning as the Warriors were holding a slim 2-0 lead.

Staff writer Rodney Page contributed to this report.

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