ST. PETERSBURG — The night started as a promising one for Largo at the Northeast Spring Break Tournament. Starter Tyler Bates struck out the side in the first inning and retired the first five batters, but the miscues began to pile up, and the Packers lost to Cypress Creek 4-2 Monday night in the semifinals.
Cypress Creek (10-5) capitalized on an error in the second inning. EJ Cordero hit directly to Packers third baseman Steven Petryliak, who bobbled the ball. Isaac Lunar drove in Cordero with a single, making the score 1-0.
“Cypress Creek is a top-notch team, and that has been the tale of our season,” Largo coach Dan Flynn said. “Our pitching has kept us in every ball game.”
Bates continued to throw well, going five innings while striking out six. A passed ball in the third and two passed balls in the fourth led to three Cypress Creek runs.
“Tyler is someone that we have counted the last couple of years,” Flynn said. “He has stepped up his game the last couple of games.”
Largo (4-12-1) fought back, crossing the plate twice on a two-out, two-RBI double by Luis Lopez in the second. Mistakes kept the Packers from doing any more damage.
“(Cordero) did a really good job,” Bates (1-2) said. “The kid had a nasty curveball and I’ve got to hand it to him.”
The Packers’ top four batters went a combined 1-for-13, striking out eight times.
“I haven’t been concerned about our top four hitters until tonight,” Flynn said. “There has been a little bit of disappointment, but they’ve been doing it for us during the season so far, so we’ll give them one off night every now and again.”
Chris D’Angelo tried to rally the Packers in the sixth with a double down the rightfield line, but he over-slid second base, getting tagged out in the process.
Northeast defeated Clearwater 13-3 in five innings during the earlier matchup. Jason Mugavero led the Vikings, going 3-for-4 with two RBIs and crossing home three times.
Shorecrest outlasted Brooks-DeBartolo 13-12 on a walkoff single from Andrew Roy, who went 2-for-4.