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Pirates can enjoy rally, home game

By KRISTEN LEIGH PORTER
Published May 4, 2003

The hardware keeps piling up for Crystal River, which captured the Class 3A, District 6 baseball championship on Friday.

And after celebrating a come-from-behind 8-7 win against Citrus, senior pitcher William Bunch got to carry the trophy.

"That means a lot because we're seniors and when we lose, we're done," Bunch said of his classmates. "It felt great to win it a second year in a row."

The Pirates host St. Augustine, the District 5 runner-up, on Tuesday at Mike Hampton Field. The Yellow Jackets were the top seed in their district; in early April, they were 15-1 and ranked No. 1 in the state.

"We're ready for whoever comes down," said Crystal River coach Brent Hall. "We'll play our game and do our very best."

ON THE ROAD AGAIN: After playing the district tournament at Hernando, Citrus could have hosted a game Tuesday if it had held the 7-6 lead it had going into the bottom of the seventh.

But Citrus must travel to St. Augustine to take on 3A-5 winner Nease, which might have been the best No. 3 seed in the state. The Panthers have won 13 of their past 15 games.

Nease, which also won districts last season, defeated Dunnellon in the region quarterfinals before losing to Eustis in the next round.

Citrus' players will get their first taste of the playoffs but coach Jon Bolin has been there.

"It's good for these guys to get that feeling," Bolin said. "This is when the fun starts, we get in the playoffs and anything can happen."

His 'Canes have shown the ability to come back against good teams, as evidenced by a three-run defict overcome on Friday.

"The thing I like the most is that they're hungry, because I've been with teams before that weren't hungry and they got beat early," Bolin said.

SEASON OVER: Fifth-seeded Lecanto held off top seed Leesburg for several innings in Thursday's 4A-7 semifinal, before giving up the winning run in a 1-0 loss. The Panthers (8-18) won one more than last season.

[Last modified May 4, 2003, 01:46:30]

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