BROOKSVILLE — Before Wednesday night’s game, Matt Warner’s batting coach told him not to focus on big hits and home runs. Just get on base.
The advice worked.
Warner scored twice and had two steals in host Central’s 6-2 victory over Bishop McLaughlin in the second round of the Pasco-Hernando Classic tournament.
“We did most of the little things right,” Central coach Al Sorrentino said. “That’s what it takes.”
The Bears will face Springstead, which beat Wiregrass Ranch, in the semifinals at 7 tonight at Central High. Bishop McLaughlin will play Wiregrass Ranch at 4 p.m. today.
A missing umpire delayed the game’s start by an hour, but Sorrentino said he was impressed that his team stayed on task when it was finally time to play. Pitcher Dante Hamilton, in particular, recovered well after warming up.
The Hurricanes scored first, the run coming when Nate Pearson’s triple sent Ethan Nuebling home. Hamilton wouldn’t allow another run, and Bishop wouldn’t score again until the seventh inning.
The Bears caught up in the second. Zach Sorrentino knocked in Warner and Hank Shiver to give Central the lead it wouldn’t relinquish.
Matt Clark added another run in the third, and he had two RBIs when CJ Martinez and Zach Sorrentino ran home on his double in the fourth.
Warner wasn’t finished. He hit a double and stole third base before Justin Rubeo drove him home.
After the first round, coach Al Sorrentino said the Bears needed to improve their plate discipline.
“We had it tonight,” he said. “I was happy with our focus.”
In the day’s first game hosted at Central High, Mitchell routed Gulf 12-0 in a game that ended after five innings. Mitchell will play Weeki Wachee at 7 tonight after Gulf faces Zephyrhills at 4.