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For their own good
Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
By JOHN C. COTEY and EMERY SKOLFIELD
Published April 28, 2006
ST. PETERSBURG - It wasn't the kind of performance everyone expected. There were no fireworks, no big innings, no extra base hits. Heck, the scoreboard didn't even start smoking.
But it was a 4-1 win, and Thursday night, that's all that mattered.
For the first time in its 32-year existence, Canterbury has a district baseball champion.
"It's pretty nice to do it on our own field," coach Bob Hamilton said. "When the year started, we didn't even know if this would be possible. This is the best place we could have won this."
Canterbury's new on-campus field didn't play host to the usual Crusader rout, but what the team couldn't do with its bats Cambridge (16-10) did with its gloves.
The defending district champion Lancers committed four errors, leading to all the runs that did them in as Kurt Lancaster, Johnny Lancaster and John Giles all had RBI singles.
Canterbury starter Joey Cuda did the rest.
Pitching on nine days' rest, Cuda overcame a shaky first inning - allowing two hits and a run - and didn't allow another hit until the seventh in improving to 9-2 on the season.
In the fourth inning, he struck out Chris Russell, his 100th strikeout of the season. He finished with eight for the game.
"I feel like I got stronger as the game went on," said Cuda, a sophomore. "I think the whole atmosphere, the big game, just pumped me up."
In the seventh, Cambridge's Erik Shears doubled, and an error put runners on first and third with two outs. But Cuda got Parris McLeod to bounce harmlessly to first to end the game.
Canterbury, 24-3 and ranked No. 2 in the state poll, will host the District 10 runner-up in Tuesday's region quarterfinals. It will be the first playoff game since Randy Shoemaker led the Crusaders to three straight district runner-up finishes from 1999-2001.
2A-11: Shorecrest advances
ST. PETERSBURG - Top-seeded Shorecrest leaned on exceptional defense and sturdy pitching long enough for its bats to start working in a 9-0 semifinal victory over Keswick Christian.
The Chargers (21-5), out-hit for much of the game, scored three runs in the fifth inning and four in the sixth to put away the Crusaders (8-16) at Northside Christian.
"You never want to be sluggish," said Shorecrest coach Don Reed, whose team will play second-seed Saint Stephen's (19-5) in today's 7 p.m. title game. "Hitting is the most uncertain thing is baseball. You just never know."
The Chargers managed only three singles through the first four innings against Keswick lefty Travis Aipel, but were clinging to a 2-0 lead after scoring twice in the first.
Shorecrest finally got to Aipel in the fifth, scoring on a double by Anthony Katchuk, a balk by Aipel and a single by Kyle Wyss. The Chargers added four runs their next time up, taking advantage of two walks and two errors. Clay Burke belted an RBI double in the sixth, while Wyss laced another run-scoring single.
Katchuk, the Chargers' starting right-hander, notched the shutout to improve to 7-3, allowing seven hits and striking out seven. He also was 2-for-4.
"We played good defense, and the pitching was pretty good," said Reed, whose team turned two double-plays and did not commit an error. "If you do those things, you'll always be in position to win."
Burke, Shorecrest's talented catcher, threw out three baserunners.
Aipel took the loss, allowing four hits and four runs, two earned, in four innings.