Clearwater Central Catholic broke open a close game in the fifth inning with four two-out runs and defeated West Palm Beach King’s Academy 9-4 Friday afternoon in the Class 3A region final. The Marauders (26-4) are making their first appearance at the state tournament since 2007 when they won a state championship.
Brenden Overton started the scoring for CCC with a two-run home run in the first inning. That lead held until King’s Academy got two runs off starter Troy Olmo in the second.
CCC loaded the bases in the fourth inning and a throwing error to home made it 3-2. Overton struck again with an RBI single to make it 4-2. Then the Marauders put away the game in the fifth.
With two out, Johnny Karaphillis doubled in two runs and Derek Gibree singled him home. David Paul’s single scored Gibree to make it 8-2.
“That inning opened the game back up for us,” coach Todd Vaughan said. “We started pretty well with Brenden’s home run, but those runs gave us a cushion.”
King’s Academy scored a run in the seventh on two straight hits. Vaughan then decided to go with Paul, who started Tuesday’s win over Calvary Christian, to get the final three outs.
“We kind of had to piece the pitching together,” Vaughan said. “Michael (Del Monte) had an arm issue so we asked David if he was ready to go. He said, ‘Don’t warm anybody up, I’m good to go.’ ”
at JetBlue Park, Fort Myers
8A: Durant vs. Hialeah American-Miami Sunset winner, 10 a.m. May 17
6A: King vs. Lynn Haven Mosley, 1 p.m. May 22
5A: Jesuit vs. Ponte Vedra, 7:30 p.m. May 22
3A: Clearwater Central Catholic vs. Jacksonville Providence-Daytona Beach Father Lopez winner, 10 a.m. May 20
2A: Cambridge Christian vs. Miami Westwood Christian, 1 p.m. Wednesday