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Early lead, defense end tough luck for Central

By BRANT JAMES, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published March 12, 2003

BROOKSVILLE -- Randy Cseh had not pitched in March. Central had not scored a run in March.

Rectifying those situations worked out well for both Tuesday as the senior right-hander threw a five-hitter over 61/3 innings and the Bears scored early and held on for a 6-3 win over Hernando.

"Getting run support in the first inning was really big," Cseh said. "It made me more comfortable. I was just more relaxed out there."

Cseh missed his past two starts because of numerous rainouts, but stayed in control while battling his endurance. His curveball was sharp and his control good enough to produce seven strikeouts and two walks, but double plays were his savior, ending rallies in the fourth, fifth and sixth.

"They made the pitches and that's all you can say," Hernando coach Tim Sims said. "He was better in that particular instant at that particular point in time."

Central (4-3) scored three in the first off Hernando starter Kiev Huff, reaching the plate on a passed ball, fielder's choice and single by Cseh.

"I told them to be patient early," Central coach Gary Buel said, "and take the first pitch the first time up and get a feel for what's happening. It seemed to work early. Then we kind of let Huff get in the groove there and not put any pressure on him."

Huff settled down to allow four runs -- three earned -- on six hits in 42/3 innings.

Hernando (3-5) cut the lead to 4-1 in the fourth on an RBI single by Fred Farmer, and scored two more when shortstop D.J. Anderson fielded a Jake Oleson grounder in the hole and threw wildly past first base. Huff scored from third on the fielder's choice and Farmer raced around from second on the poor throw.

A one-out walk to Brad Wyatt put runners on first and second, but Cseh got a double-play grounder from Matthew Blanton to end the Leopards' threat.

Hernando managed more scoring chances, but Central's defense preserved the lead.

With no outs in the fifth, Hernando's Tommy Hessler pegged a line drive that Bears second baseman Jimmy Goodworth caught and threw to second to nab the returning runner. With the bases loaded and one out in the sixth, Cseh fielded a topper by pinch-hitter Alex Hensley, threw to catcher John Grotto for a force at home and Grotto relayed to first to end the inning.

Farmer finished 2-for-3 with a run and RBI for Hernando.

Anderson went 2-for-4 with a double, RBI and run scored.

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