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Steinbrenner and Wiregrass Ranch qualified for their first region playoff Tuesday. On Thursday, they duked it out at Gaither to decide who would host.

"It's real hard as the runnerup to host any games in regionals," Warriors coach John Crumbley said. "Plus, we like our yard."

The Warriors did not disappoint their coach, as they dropped the Bulls 4-0 in the 7A-9 final with two-run innings in the first and fifth on the back of some stellar defensive play and a rock-solid outing from Logan LaPace. He finished with three strikeouts while giving up five hits and no earned runs.

"We don't know what he (LaPace) throws, but three times against him and we haven't figured it out yet," Wiregrass coach Jeff Swymer said.

The Warriors got two runs off a four-hit first then opened it up in the fifth when No. 9 hitter Brennan Garcia laced a pitch to left-center, driving in two more runs. The Bulls scattered five hits and could scarcely get a runner to third; two of their five hits stayed in the infield.

Defense kept the Bulls in the game. Michael Campoamor had six put-outs from shortstop and each team had a double play. Campoamor knocked down a ball hit right at him and threw out Jesse Haney to end the second inning with the bases loaded. Mijon Cummings had a great catch in foul territory for Steinbrenner, and Marcus Guzman made a diving catch in centerfield in the fourth inning for Wiregrass.

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3A-8: Hurricanes bow out in semifinals

Bishop McLaughlin's season ended Thursday in a 4-2 loss to Brooks DeBartolo in the Class 3A, District 8 semifinals.

The Hurricanes (12-13) mustered only four hits against Shane Jeffcoat and couldn't score in the final three innings. Sophomore Drew Stofanik knocked in Bishop's only two runs in a 1-for-3 night.

Senior Brenden Rivera led the Phoenix, finishing 3-for-4 with three doubles while batting in three runs.

Matt Baker, Times staff writer