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Mustangs win, eye Falcons

By ERIC MUSKATEVC
© St. Petersburg Times
published March 24, 2002

CLEARWATER -- In the tournament bracket, undefeated Northside Christian (16-0) stands opposite undefeated tournament host Dunedin (17-0).

After Todd Redmond's three-hit complete-game shutout Saturday lifted Northside to a 7-0 win over Pinellas Park, the Mustangs stood behind the fence and watched Dunedin pull out an 8-5 win against Northeast.

"There is definitely something for our team to prove here," Northside coach Darrell Don said. "We are here to see and play quality competition."

In the first four innings against Pinellas Park, Northside's competition was Patriots hurler Marcus Liwag. Liwag lasted four innings but kept the Mustangs at bay with five strikeouts.

Redmond (5-0) kept pace with back-to-back perfect innings in the third and fourth.

"We've relied on pitching and defense for the past three years," Don said. "Our bats were a little slow, but as long as we can keep the other team off the scoreboard, we'll eventually come around and put some runs up."

Tim Martin relieved Liwag in the fifth. Singles by Scott Leffler and Tim Graeser and a walk by Kevin Colon loaded the bases. A passed ball brought Leffler home for a 2-0 Northside lead.

One walk later, the bases were loaded again and Lastings Milledge laced a triple to leftfield to put the Mustangs ahead 5-0. Milledge finished 1-for-2 with four RBIs. Pinellas Park's only threat came in the sixth, when Louis Arrojo singled to centerfield. However, Milledge gunned down Cody Gelwick at home.

The route to victory was not as easy for Dunedin when Northeast showed up swinging.

Brian Dopirak blasted a grand slam for the Falcons in the second, but by the top of the sixth Northeast had tied the game at 5 with a three-run fifth.

Brad Chamberlain snapped the tie in the bottom of the sixth with a home run. Two more runs followed to close out the victory along with solid innings on the mound. Dunedin's Rick Rogers won his first game of the year.

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