Warhawks tested, but still triumph

Host Seminole wins the Georgiadis championship, beating Pendleton 4-3.

Published April 2, 2006

SEMINOLE - It would take three wins to take first place in the 19th annual Steve Georgiadis Holiday Tournament, but Seminole decided to make it three "outstanding" wins to keep the championship trophy at home.

The Warhawks defeated Pendleton 4-3 in the title game on Saturday - those the only runs allowed by the Warhawks in the entire tournament.

Seminole (13-6) opened with a 9-0 win over Northside Christian, followed by a 21-0 win over Dixie Hollins. The Warhawks had a streak of 17 scoreless innings before the Panthers rallied for three runs in the sixth.

"In order to repeat as champions, we were going to have to play three outstanding ball games," Seminole coach Greg Olsen said.

Not only did the Warhawks shut out their opponents in 18 of 19 innings overall, but they allowed only six hits and 11 baserunners.

"It was a great week on the mound for us," Olsen said. "Can't say enough about our pitchers. Their mind-set was to go after hitters, throw strikes and change speeds. They went out there and pitched on hearts and guts."

In the championship game, Terry Brinker got the win to improve to 5-1. He went five innings, allowing two hits and striking out three. Patrick Eckelbarger tossed the final two innings for his first save.

Offensively, Shawn Starnes went 3-for-3 against Pendleton and was 6-for-7 for the tournament. He scored the first run of the game when Kyle Brunette tripled in the third inning. In the fifth, Wesley Anderson started the Warhawks' biggest rally of the night when he reached on an infield single. Chris Clinton walked, Starnes and Billy Falasco both poked RBI singles, and Starnes scored on a wild pitch.

The Panthers (14-4) finally found a way to score in the sixth. A walk, two infield errors, a balk and a wild pitch pulled Pendleton within 4-2 and a double by Paolo Espino closed the gap to 4-3. Espino advanced to third on a passed ball, but the tying run was left stranded at third base.

In the consolation final Saturday, East Lake (12-5-1) defeated Dixie Hollins (5-13) 11-0 for third place. John Jones had the big hit in the game, a grand slam that put the Eagles over the 10-run rule. Jones and A.J. Caesar each had two hits. Dane Lynch threw the shutout to improve to 4-0.

The all-tournament included Seminole's Starnes, Falasco, Anthony Marra; Pendleton's Paolo Espino, Joe Dabah, John Walylk;. East Lake's Derek Saari, Lynch; Dixie Hollins' Keith Staton; Lakewood's Mike Freda; Boca Ciega's Donnie Albro; Northside Christian's Logan Byrne; and MVP Robby Searage of Seminole.

DUNEDIN SPRING CLASSIC: The all-tournament team included: Infield - Nick Shaw and Austin Gaines (Northeast), Mike Prater (Lake-Lehman, Pa.), Jacob Rogers and Ryan Faison (Dunedin), Mike O'Brien (Palm Harbor U.), Matt Petty (St. Petersburg Catholic). Catchers - Pete Woodworth (SPC), Joe Tribou (Northeast), Ryan Schneider (Dunedin). Pitchers - Michael Cherico (Northeast), Jonathan Brown (St. Petersburg). Outfield - Cody Mattul (Pinellas Park), Kevin Maloney (Dunedin), Austin Smith (Northeast), Chris Jones (Tarpon Springs), Vindy Mena (Roosevelt, Calif.), Kyle Wahl (Wesley Chapel). Utility - Jesse Castellanos (Roosevelt), Clay Kollenbaum (Dunedin), Kyle Westwood (PHU), David Burns (SPC). Designated hitter - Billy Perillo (Dunedin).

Northeast's Austin Smith was named MVP after going 8-for-13, with home runs, a .615 average, six runs and 10 RBIs in the tournament.

Dunedin's Jacob Rogers, who was 10-for-11 with a .909 average, nine runs, five walks and a .938 on-base percentage, received the George Koutsuorais hitting award. The pitching award went to Clearwater Central Catholic's Joe McLemore (six innings, 0 runs, 11 strikeouts).