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Five weeks later, Tigers finally put away Crusaders

Jimmy Falla had been mired in a slump for much of the year, but Saturday he came up with one of the biggest hits of Jesuit's season.

By Justin Dargahi,Times Correspondent
Published March 25, 2007


TAMPA - Jimmy Falla had been mired in a slump for much of the year, but Saturday he came up with one of the biggest hits of Jesuit's season.

The sophomore smoked a bases-clearing double to the fence in dead center to lead the Tigers to an 8-6 win over Tampa Catholic in nine innings.

The game started on Feb. 16 but was suspended due to darkness with one out in the top of the eighth inning with the score tied at 4.

When play resumed, a scoreless eighth preceded an offensive explosion in the ninth.

Jesuit (13-2) took command on Falla's double, which made it 7-4. Falla came around to score on a single by Jordan Johnson to extend the lead to four.

"Jimmy's been struggling a little bit," Jesuit coach Richie Warren said. "But he is one of the best young players in this area and he came through with a big hit in a big situation."

In the bottom half the Crusaders (7-4) heated up against Tiger ace Kevin Quackenbush.

With a run already in, William Knox hit a two-out RBI single to left to cut the Tiger lead to 8-6.

Crusader starting pitcher Anthony Espin then flied out to center with the bases loaded to end the game.

Tampa Catholic's Kyle Allen had a homer and two RBIs - and five weeks earlier he scored the tying run in the seventh to force the delay in the game's conclusion.

"We told our boys to try and get out of here in two or three innings and that's exactly what they did," Warren said.