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A perfectly placed bunt in a two-out, final-inning situation gives the Terriers a 2-1 win.
By JIM REESE
Published March 5, 2006
TAMPA - Hillsborough's Ricky Acosta made his coach look like a genius when the leftfielder squeezed home teammate Marco Lamonte for the winning run in the seventh inning Saturday.
"Most baseball people will tell you that trying a two-out bases-loaded squeeze is not a good baseball play," Pat Russo said after his Terriers' 2-1 win over Durant. "But I knew after the tough 9-6 loss we had Friday night against Blake, we needed a jump-start to get going, and Ricky placed the bunt perfectly to the right of the mound to leg it out for a hit."
The game, seen as a matchup of two of Hillsborough County's better teams, lived up to its advance billing.
Pitchers Trent Davis of Durant (7-2) and Matt Schurig of Hillsborough (8-1) traded goose eggs through four innings. Durant was set down in the fifth, but the Terriers grabbed the lead when designated hitter Casey Nunez led off with a single and Lamonte sacrificed pinch-runner Ryan Fleming to second. Fleming eventually came home on a sharp single to right by Chris Ramirez. A 6-4-3 double play by Durant ended the inning.
In the sixth, the Cougars mounted a threat of their own when lead-off hitter Jeff Wright singled and moved to second on a passed ball. Tagging up and taking third on a deep fly to center, Wright was stranded when Schurig got Durant catcher Tommy Savino swinging on a hard-breaking 1-2 curveball.
In the seventh, Durant loaded the bases with two outs against closer Kevin Williams. A passed ball allowed in the tying run and only a spectacular catch by the Terriers' Michael Burgess off a long drive to right by Wright prevented further damage.
In the Hillsborough seventh, Davis struck out the first two before three successive walks loaded the bases, setting the stage for Acosta's game-ending heroics.
"Today was just my day to help the team," the Hillsborough senior said. "That's the way it's been all season. We are a team and we all play a role. I was just glad I was able to come through."