tampabay.com

Spongers win with 6-run rally

By C.J. RISAK
Published March 23, 2005


SEMINOLE - There were many ways to describe Tuesday's Tarpon Springs-Osceola matchup in the Georgiadis Tournament. But after a combined 23 runs, 22 hits, 13 errors and eight pitchers, perhaps Tarpon Springs coach Dan Genna said it best: "It was a potpourri of baseball."

His Spongers (7-3) won 12-11 with a six-run rally with two outs in the seventh.

After Gene Civello singled home a run for the Warriors in the first, Tarpon Springs answered with a five-run second - aided by three errors, two on one play that scored two runs. Singles by Chris Santucci and Bobby Shank scored two more and an error delivered a third, putting the Spongers up 5-1.

Osceola (3-6) replied with a run in the second (thanks to two errors) and got six in the third, taking an 8-5 lead, which it kept until the seventh. The key hit in the six-run rally was a two-run single by Matt Ramsey.

The Warriors led 11-6 entering the seventh. Relief pitcher Armand Anselmo was superb until that inning, walking just one. But the Spongers drove him from the mound, loading the bases with two hits, a walk and a hit batter with two out. One run scored on a wild pitch, so Osceola coach Steve Smith brought in reliever Vincent Gianfrancesco.

"We got to their bullpen, and that was the key," Genna said. "We said if we're going to win this game, it's going to be late."

Two walks and an error later, the bases were still loaded and the score was 11-10. Smith called for Brandon Burke to pitch to Cody Bergen and, with the count full, Bergen - hitless so far in the game - lined a two-run double to right-centerfield, giving Tarpon Springs the final margin.

Osceola loaded the bases with one out, but could not get the tying run.

"There's not a lot you can say," Smith said. "We couldn't get the job done. We've got a lot of young pitchers and every game is a learning experience for them."

Civello and Jamie Stock led Osceola with three hits each, Civello getting an RBI. Ramsey had two hits and three RBIs, and Ryan Thompson had two hits and two RBIs. Tarpon Springs' Santucci had two hits and two RBIs. Matt Selby, who pitched 11/3 innings of scoreless relief, got the win.

Green Devils top Pirates

SEMINOLE - March Madness has trickled down to Brinker Field. Monday, in the first round, Dixie Hollins upset East Lake, and Seminole rallied to beat upset-minded Lakewood.

Then Tuesday night Boca Ciega (3-7) kept pace with St. Petersburg for much of the game until the top-seeded Green Devils came through to win 12-4.

Seniors Dale Brannon and Vince Grasso led the Green Devils offense and fellow senior Adam Recvlohe (1-0) had a stellar pitching performance. Brannon went 3-for-4, scored twice and had four RBIs; Grasso went 2-for-2 with two RBIs and a run.

"Our seniors came through tonight," St. Petersburg coach Stephen Futch said. "The game got very intense. Brannon and Grasso's leadership was huge as well as Adam (Recvlohe) coming in and pitching that long."

Recvlohe was called upon to stop the Bogie rally in the first. St. Petersburg pitcher Matt Benedict's first start in high school had turned ugly, as the sophomore gave up two runs and loaded the bases with two outs. Recvlohe got Matt Miller to ground out to first to stop the bleeding and kept the score close at 2-1.

"I was jacked up," said Recvlohe. "I knew I had to pick (the team) up by shutting them down."

Recvlohe pitched five scoreless innings to give the Green Devils offense time to get going. The third saw Brannon get his first RBI, as the Devils scored two to take a 3-2 lead. In the fifth, the Devils broke the game open, scoring four and sending pitcher Ian Thompson to the bench.

Until then Thompson, a left-hander, had kept the Devils in check with his high kick.

- CHRIS GIRANDOLA, Times correspondent