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Gator gets record, but Jesuit nabs the victory

Sam Dyson remains undefeated on the mound as the Tigers down Land O'Lakes 7-2.

By BRYAN BURNS
Published March 29, 2006


LAND O'LAKES - Caz Piurowski hit his 13th home run in the seventh inning against Jesuit, setting the Land O'Lakes single-season record, but it was too little, too late for the Gators. Jesuit scored four runs in the first inning and cruised behind the pitching of Sam Dyson to win 7-2 Tuesday.

Dyson (5-0) had command problems early, walking six batters and hitting another, but ended up allowing just one run on four hits. The right-hander struck out seven through six innings of work.

"I struggled early getting adjusted to the mound," Dyson said. "The bullpen mound is flat, but the game mound was pretty steep. It was hard to stay on top of the ball, and I was overthrowing a lot."

Land O'Lakes starter Jono Cornelius was equally wild early. He gave up a single to Ryan Lockwood to open the game, then walked two straight batters before Jesuit third baseman Jonathan Koscso lined an RBI single for the game's first run. Second baseman Kyle Wiser followed with a run-scoring single, and Cornelius' wild pitch a batter later allowed Justin Menendez to score. Michael Fernandez grounded into a fielder's choice that plated Wiser for Jesuit's 4-0 lead after one.

"When Dyson's throwing like that and you give them a four-run lead, it's tough to come back from," Land O'Lakes coach Calvin Bailey said. "I was proud of our guys for battling the whole game."

Land O'Lakes (12-3) got a run back in the second on Cameron Harris' RBI groundout, but it was the only run the Gators would score off Dyson the rest of the night.

"Sam has thrown four outstanding games in a row, and when we can put some offense up early, it's always going to help a good high school pitcher to stay calm and go after them," Jesuit coach John Crumbley said.

Jesuit (14-2) added a run in the third on Fernandez's RBI double and in the fifth on a run-scoring single from Koscso, who finished with three singles and a walk in four at-bats. They got their seventh run in the sixth on a bases-loaded walk.

Piurowski's solo shot in the seventh inning, a towering drive that cleared the fence in left-centerfield, was his only hit of the night. With the home run, Piurowski topped the previous mark of 12 set by Chicago Cubs prospect Kevin Collins in 1999.

"It's cool to break the record, but I was hoping to get the win," Piurowski said. "It's something that will be nice to reflect on once the season's over, but right now I'm worried about the team and winning games."