TAMPA — For a team that won the state title in 2014 and is used to dominating during the regular season, Jesuit's nine losses this year were not up to its standards of recent history.
Determined to turn the page in the Class 6A, District 8 title game, the Tigers (18-9) broke a 1-1 tie with a three-run fifth inning to beat Jefferson 5-1. The win gives Jesuit its seventh straight district title.
"This year hasn't been as smooth as normal but we played a tough schedule," Jesuit coach Miguel Melendez said. "I think that paid off tonight."
After a baserunning error cost Jesuit a scoring chance in the fourth inning, the Tigers rebounded in the fifth when Chris Clark and McGuire Weaver singled. With runners at the corners, Bennett Lee hit a tiebreaking bloop single into right to score Clark. Two batters later, Javi Baldor hit two-out, two-run single, up the middle to score Weaver and Lee.
"I was lucky to get a fastball, hit it up the middle and got some runs in for insurance," said Baldor who was 1-for-3 with three RBIs. "I was surprised he threw me a fastball but I was glad I came through with that hit."
Jesuit starter Jack Anderson threw four innings and combined with Camden Minacci and William Swantek to hold the Dragons to one run and five hits.
The Tigers added a run in the sixth on an outfield error. Weaver was 2-2 for Jesuit with two runs scored and Clark, the No. 9 batter, went 2-for 3 with two runs.
A.J. Mathis scored Jefferson's only run in the first inning after he singled and scored on a fielding error. Both teams play Tuesday in the region quarterfinals. Jesuit faces River Ridge and Jefferson plays Land O'Lakes.