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A few runs will do for Lions


© St. Petersburg Times, published March 16, 2003

VALRICO -- In the second inning of Saturday's game between King and Bloomingdale, Marcus Causey opened the scoring for the Lions with a single to leftfield that scored Zach Grace.

"I was looking to set the pace for the game when I got that hit," Causey said. "That's my job as leadoff man and captain. I knew we'd need every run we could get against a good team like Bloomingdale."

Causey's RBI, along with two runs scored on a Bulls fielding miscue in the fourth, was enough to pull off a 3-1 win in a non-district matchup.

With Causey at bat and the bases loaded in the fourth, his ground ball to third baseman Chris Woody looked like a sure double play, but the throw home got past catcher Ryan Collins and allowed two runs to score that gave King a 3-0 lead.

Bloomingdale pitcher Robert Flores, who entered the game in the third in relief of first-time starter Brett Morris, got King's Stephen Locke to hit into a double play, but the damage had been done.

"Our pitching today was good enough to win," Flores said. "We know we can hit, but we just weren't able to get our bats going when we needed them."

King coach Jim Macaluso brought in Brian Pawlowski for starter Phil Laliberti after Bloomingdale (6-3) closed the gap to 3-1 in the fourth. After striking out Tony Thomas to end the inning, the left-hander finished strong, allowing one hit and one walk in the final three innings.

"To come in here and get a win on the road against a quality program like Bloomingdale is a big boost for us," Macaluso said. "It puts us at 7-1 and gives us great impetus for the rest of our schedule."

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