Vikings catch fire vs. Spongers

Published March 28, 2006

DUNEDIN - Austin Smith came out of his self-proclaimed offensive freefall in Northeast's first game of the Dunedin Spring Classic tournament with a single and a double in the first inning, a triple, and a home run off the rightfield foul pole in the fourth inning for a cycle to highlight Northeast's 23-3 victory over Tarpon Springs on Monday.

It was Smith's first homer of the season, the first cycle of his career, and all part of a forgettable night for Tarpon Springs (5-10), which trailed 13-0 after the first inning. City rival St. Petersburg gets a shot at the Vikings (14-1) on Wednesday.

PASCO 6, CLEARWATER 3: Offensive woes and defensive errors doomed last year's runnerup Clearwater. Pasco, led by ace Stephen Roe, finished strong. Cale Owen was hit by pitches twice (and four times in two games) and walked twice for the Tornadoes.

PINELLAS PARK 13, LAKE-LEHMAN (PA.) 8: After falling down 8-7 in the sixth inning Pinellas Park forced extra frames after tying the score in the top of the seventh. Ben Sorrell walked and scored the winning run on Kenny Ransom's two-run double. The Black Knights from northeastern Pennsylvania held tryouts last week and held their first practice at Englebert Monday. Leo McFee won in relief.

COUNTRYSIDE 6, RIVER RIDGE 5: Countryside used three pitchers in the seventh inning to hold off River Ridge, who had fought back against Cougars starting pitcher J.D. Hunter in the first round of the consolation bracket at Dunedin's Knology Park.

PALM HARBOR U. 8, OSCEOLA 0: Freshman Kyle Westwood was 3-for-3 and struck out six in five innings in another consolation game. Tim Kiley homered over Knology's rightfield fence for one of PHU's four extra-base hits. Brandon Burke went six innings for the Warriors, striking out five.