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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 KEITH NIEBUHR, Times Correspondent
Published February 28, 2007
TAMPA - Because of a minor illness, Matt Ansell hasn't been himself lately. But given a chance to pinch hit in the bottom of the seventh with a runner on second, one out and the score tied, the Tampa Catholic senior went to the plate with confidence. Then he delivered.
On a fastball from Berkeley Prep reliever J.B. Meyer, Ansell singled to right to drive in a run and the host Crusaders escaped with a 3-2 win Tuesday.
"I knew what the job was," Ansell said. "And I knew I had to get it done."
For Berkeley Prep (4-3) it was another stinging defeat. All of the Bucs' losses have been by a run. All have been to well-established programs.
"We've got a great team," Bucs coach Justin Houston said. "But we're still growing."
The Bucs had their chances. Led by Frank Gassler and Stef Lazzara, who each produced two hits, Berkeley Prep manufactured scoring chances in almost every inning. But when the Bucs threatened, Tampa Catholic (3-0) pitchers Joe Kelly, Anthony Espin and Kyle Allen usually had an answer.
"We're coming through in key situations," TC coach Rich Arena said. Tuesday, that meant getting a clutch hit from Ansell.
"It was a good pitch," he said. "Usually I'm a pull hitter, but this year I've been working on hitting the ball to right. Once it hit the floor, I knew we'd score."