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East Lake drops first at red-hot Dunedin

© St. Petersburg Times
published March 13, 2003

DUNEDIN -- It was a win-win situation for Dunedin. For East Lake, it was win-lose situation, the loss being the Eagles' first of the season.

The Falcons (9-1) beat previously undefeated East Lake 5-1 and regained their position as the county's best ballclub.

"Whether we won or lost, and Lee (Byers, East Lake coach) would probably say the same thing, both teams are taking some from this game," Dunedin coach Tom Hilbert said.

Byers, who has more than 500 wins for East Lake (10-1), knows where his team stands despite the loss. "We kicked the ball around tonight," Byers said. "Other than that, we played some good baseball and hung in there with them."

East Lake took a 1-0 lead in the first inning. Bill Manion led off with a single off Justin Valdes (3-0) and scored on Nate Huegel's single.

"Justin battled through the first inning and he didn't get into his rhythm, but especially against a good-swinging team like East Lake, he got it done," Hilbert said.

Dunedin retaliated in the second with three runs. Joey Angelberger scored on Ryan Chaisson's single and Alan Mason drove in Scott Leffler and Chaisson with the Falcons' third hit of the inning.

Dunedin added two insurance runs in the third thanks to three East Lake errors.

Valdes went five innings, striking out five and allowing four hits. East Lake starter Jon Schaus (3-1) also pitched five innings, giving up three earned runs while striking out five.

Dustin Skinner and Tim Bascom closed it out for Dunedin, combining for two scoreless innings. Matt Cresta finished on the mound for East Lake.

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