TAMPA — Host Jesuit rode the proficient arm of sophomore pitcher Jack Anderson on Tuesday, and if the Tigers can do it again next week they'll be state semifinal-bound. Anderson tossed a one-hitter as Jesuit (24-5) handled district rival Robinson 5-0 in the Class 6A region semifinals.
Robinson was attempting a return trip to the state semis but hardly made a dent against Anderson, who earned his sixth win and dropped his ERA to 0.38. He struck out five and walked two.
Anderson will likely get the call next week on plenty of rest.
"I love it," Anderson said of the spread-out region schedule. "It's great for pitchers, especially those who go seven."
Anderson didn't get to that point until a month into Jesuit's season, as he was an early junior varsity callup that the Tigers originally planned to use out of the bullpen. But he has become the ace and only needed 85 pitches Tuesday.
Jesuit (24-5) plated single runs in each of the first two innings, with Hunter Tubbs singling in Alex Mocny, who had doubled, and Jake Jones homering for the first time this season.
Some stellar defense from Robinson (17-10) prevented the Tigers from making the second a bigger inning. After the Jones homer, Jesuit put runners on second and third with no one out, but McGuire Weaver's hard-hit liner was snared by third baseman Joey Scionti, then rightfielder Aaron Scott caught Mocny's fly ball and threw out the runner at home.
Robinson made a bid to tie it in the fourth, but Shawn McGory's deep fly with a runner on was caught at the warning track by Thomas Bencivenga. Smooth shortstop Weaver, also a sophomore, made several tough plays look easy and Jesuit committed no errors.
"That's the thing. With that defense behind me, I don't have to worry about hitting my spots," Anderson said.
Robinson had two errors, the first costly as a dropped foul ball would have ended the first inning 0-0.
Jesuit broke through with three in the fourth. With one out, Jones and Garrett Sheppard singled, then Nick Ortega's base knock made it 3-0. After Weaver bunted the runners over with two outs, Mocny's long fly got over the leftfielder's head for a two-run double.
Ortega finished 3-for-3.