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    Titans are ready to take another crack at state

    By RODNEY PAGE, Times Staff Writer
    © St. Petersburg Times
    published May 5, 2002

    It took until the second-to-last game of the season, but St. Petersburg College qualified for its sixth straight Florida Community College state baseball tournament.

    The Titans secured the berth Monday with a 2-1 win over South Florida Community College.

    SPC won the Suncoast Conference with a 21-9 record and was 33-15 overall. Manatee CC was the conference runner-up and qualified for state.

    "We brought it down to the wire, but we got in," St. Petersburg coach Dave Pano said. "When you get this far, you need to play well and have a little luck."

    The Titans start the tournament today in Viera, just outside of Melbourne, with a 10 a.m. game against Brevard CC. The double-elimination event will continue through Thursday.

    SPC played in the tourney's championship once, in 2000, but lost to Florida Community College in the final inning. The Titans would like to get back to that position, and there is enough talent to make it possible.

    Sophomore catcher/designated hitter Chris Kroski, catcher Bobby Wilson, freshman Kenny Holmberg and freshman Jonathan Shapland have hit well all season. Jason Costello, who is from Clearwater, has been a reliable pitcher. With an eye on next season, Pano has signed two elite players from Pinellas County -- Clearwater Central Catholic pitcher Shawn Williams and Dunedin's Brian Dopirak.

    SPC SOFTBALL: The Titans lost their first game in the FCC state tournament, 10-3 Thursday to Okaloosa/Walton CC. St. Petersburg committed six errors in the second inning.

    The Titans came back with a win over Manatee CC in a 9-8 battle that saw them jump out to a 9-0 lead. SPC played Polk CC in an elimination game Friday night in Kissimmee.

    SEASON IS COMPLETE: Eckerd College's baseball team finishes at home today with a doubleheader against Lynn.

    The Tritons were 25-27, 5-13 in the Sunshine State Conference, entering the weekend. Tampa (31-16, 16-2) clinched the conference championship last week.

    Eckerd was seventh in the eight-team league in batting (.279) and eighth in pitching 5.31 (ERA).

    The Tritons had one hitter among the SSC's top 15.

    Josh Beauregard (.353) was 14th overall. He led the conference in runs scored (61) and triples (4). Derek Dion was 15th in pitching, 4.43 ERA and 5-8 record.

    Other Eckerd players who produced good offensive seasons were Matt Regan (.325, 34 RBI), Stephen Williams (.314, 15 doubles, 43 RBI) and Chris Rosende (.312, 8 home runs).

    Reliever Jason Wishin had a 2.49 ERA with 3 saves in 21 2/3 innings. Greg Inman pitched in only 15 2/3 innings but compiled a 1.15 ERA and 10 strikeouts.

    Then there is infielder Bill Evers, who pitched 2/3 innings and allowed 5 hits and 6 runs for an ERA of 81.0.

    The Eckerd softball squad finished its season 13-39, 6-22, which was last in the conference.

    The Tritons were last in hitting (.223) and pitching (3.64 ERA).

    Kelly Jackson was a bright spot with a .383 average in 133 at bats. She led the team in hits (51), doubles (12), home runs (3) and RBI (24). Amy Kilbert was the second best batter at .263. Kristina Lemon and Lindsay Sivard split the pitching duties. Lemon had a 7-20 record and 3.37 ERA. Sivard was 6-19 with a 3.95 ERA.

    CLEARWATER CHRISTIAN: The Cougars' baseball team went 1-2 in the National Christian College Athletic Conference Division II Tournament on April 24 at Atlanta Christian College.

    Clearwater Christian lost both games to Southeastern College, but defeated Toccoa Falls College 8-1. Jon Domico was the winning pitcher.

    Seniors Andrew Perry and Matthew Stenberg and junior Chad Luke made the all-region team. Jason Bruns, Trevor Conklin, Wes Gow and Derek Sloan also had a good tournament.

    The Cougars were 10-8 against conference opponents.

    ECKERD TENNIS: Senior Shika Singh was named to the first team of the All-SSC squad April 30. Junior Marten Balla was an honorable mention selection.

    The team consisted of six singles players and three doubles squads.

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