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Jesuit gets help in wins

© St. Petersburg Times
published March 23, 2003

TAMPA -- With more than a little help from Tampa Catholic and Tampa Bay Tech, Jesuit went 2-0 on its own field in the first day of the Saladino Tournament.

The Tigers (12-2) had to sweat out an 8-7 victory against TC in the first game, aided in large part by six Crusader errors.

In the nightcap, the Titans supplied three errors as Jesuit cruised to a 10-0 win in five innings.

The Tigers reaped the benefits of three Crusader miscues in the second inning to jump out to a 4-0 lead.

TC responded in the top of the third as a two-run single by Charles Cleveland and a sacrifice fly by Jay Azzarelli tied the score. But in the fourth, two more Crusader errors pushed Jesuit back in front as the Tigers scored four runs on two hits.

J.J. Crumbley earned his fourth save by retiring the side in order in the seventh after the Crusaders scored three in the sixth on hits from Azzarelli and Jordan Richey, chasing starter Michael Branham (4-0).

"They made some mistakes that helped us and we were aggressive and it turned out in our favor," Jesuit coach John Crumbley said. "We took advantage of their mistakes and they took advantage of our mistakes and we won by one run."

Shane Robinson led off the second game by reaching on a two-base error. Robinson was a catalyst for the Tiger offense, reaching base eight times in two games, scoring five runs and picking up three hits.

Preston Reid had a two-run single in the first as the Tigers scored five runs before the Titans came to bat. Rightfielder Wesley Jones contributed a two-run double in the third to give the Tigers enough runs for the mercy rule. Kevin Orihuela, Anthony Pacheco and Mike Moses combined to one-hit TBT (1-10) over five innings.

TC managed to overcome four errors in the day's first game to hand Leto a 4-3 loss. The Falcons (4-6) held a 3-1 lead in the fifth when the Crusaders started their comeback.

Cleveland, who allowed three unearned runs in six innings, supplied the big hit with a two-run triple to tie the game 3-3, and Azzarelli's sacrifice fly gave the Crusaders the lead.

"That's killed us all year," TC coach Tom Reidy said of the errors. "It's what we talked about for 20 minutes. If we made all the plays, the simple groundouts, we're not a 6-6 team."

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