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Jesuit knocks off defending champs

By MIKE READLING, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published April 26, 2002

TAMPA -- Jesuit let early opportunities slip away, but it rebounded to score all of its runs in the third, fourth and fifth to beat Tampa Catholic 8-3 and win the title.

The Tigers will host a regional quarterfinal Tuesday against the loser of tonight's District 10 final between Pasco and Bartow. The defending Class 3A state champion Crusaders will travel to the winner. After stranding four runners in the first two innings, Jesuit (24-6) put up four in the third and answered TC's three-run fifth with three runs of its own to seal the game.

Brandon dumps Plant

BRANDON -- Brandon brought home its first district title since 1995 Thursday night with a 6-2 win over top-seeded Plant. The Eagles (16-10), who have sent the Panthers to two of their four losses this season, did it by capitalizing on leadoff baserunners.

The Eagles got their leadoff hitter on base in five innings. And whether they advanced to scoring positions via sacrifices, stolen bases or hits, three of them scored.

Junior Chris Cates, easily the smallest player on the field at 5 feet 5 and 135 pounds, pitched a complete-game four hitter. He struck out six, including two in the seventh, when he retired the side on 10 pitches.

Both teams advanced to Tuesday's regional quarterfinals.

-- ERIC VICIAN

Home runs carry King

TAMPA -- King's 7-1 victory against Chamberlain in the district final Thursday night was the second straight for the Lions, who used three towering home runs to best the Chiefs.

In the first, King took an early lead on a two-run home run by Jermaine Smith. The blast scored Joshua Johnson, who reached on a single.

Two batters later, Stephen Locke would add a two-run blast of his own, giving King a 4-0 lead.

A seven-inning pitching performance from Marcus Causey led the Lions defensively. Causey struck out three and allowed four hits.

King's third home run came from the bat of Johnson, who went 3-for-4 on the day and scored his 38th run, a King record.

-- JARRETT GUTHRIE

Terps lose late

TAMPA -- Lakeland McKeel scored three unearned runs to break a sixth-inning tie and beat Tampa Prep 6-3 in the final. David White (3-1) pitched 6 2/3 innings of five-hit ball and hit a two-run homer. He started McKeel's rally by reaching first when Alex Miningham (6-6) did not catch his popup.

Tampa Prep (15-13) chased White in the seventh by getting two runners on base with two outs. But Randy Montgomery struck out David Kellogg for to earn the save. Both teams advance to regional play next week.

-- DON JENSEN

Bulls nipped

Bloomingdale continued its surprising run by taking Sarasota to 12 innings before succumbing 3-2 in the 6A-5 championship game.

-- TIMES STAFF

Durant falls

At Plant City, Lakeland defeated Durant 8-4 to win the 5A-7 district title.

-- TIMES STAFF

Lancers advance

Seminole Presbyterian assured itself at least a chance to get back to the state tournament, defeating Bayshore Christian 14-4 in a game shortened to five innings in a semifinal. The Lancers will play Indian Rocks Christian in today's A-10 final at 7 p.m.

-- TIMES STAFF

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