Vikings start fast, win big over CCC

Published March 20, 2005

DUNEDIN - Clearwater Central Catholic met all nine of Northeast's starting batters in the first inning of their Dunedin Spring Classic game with the Vikings.

Seven crossed the plate in the opening side, giving freshman starter Jake Wilder a seven-run boost of confidence for his fifth start of the season.

Wilder did just fine, allowing one run in the fourth inning, helping Northeast (6-3) and its core of young talent prove they are up and coming from the south county, beating CCC 9-1.

"He hit his spots," Vikings coach Roman Johnson said. "He has good composure, which for a freshman speaks for itself."

Jose Ramos (3-for-4) led off the first inning with a single off CCC starter Burk Hedges. Austin Smith singled Ramos to third base and before the Marauders realized it, the bases were loaded for six consecutive batters.

Joe Tribou (2-for-4) singled in Ramos for the first run. With two outs, Austin Yee was hit in the foot, bringing in Austin Gaines. Brian Moon walked in Smith for a quick 3-0 lead. Randy Yingling walked in Tribou just before Ramos singled for his second time in the inning, a two-run drive that made the score 6-0. Nick Shaw singled in Yingling on the next at-bat before Hedges got out of the inning.

"We finally got some hits. It's good to see the kids loose after (Friday) night's loss (2-1 to St. Petersburg)," Johnson said.

CCC's Kyle Rindone replaced Hedges in the third inning and went the rest of the way with two strikeouts and one walk. Northeast combined for 10 hits to the Marauders' six. CCC got Zach Upton home for its lone run in the top of the fourth inning when Bobby Wilson singled.

The Vikings grabbed two more runs in the sixth inning. Wilder (3-2) struck out three Marauders and walked two. In other first-round action, Countryside's Travis Stortz struck out eight River Ridge batters in six and two-third innings to win 3-1 in his first start. Darnell Coles singled in the first inning and scored on a Luke Darr single. Coles came home again in the fourth after a slew of passed balls.

The Cougars started the season 0-4 but have won three straight and face Northeast in Round 2 on Monday.