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Freshmen vault hosts into championship

Northside Christian can hang. Every new batch of Mustangs seems to prove this at some point. And it seems this is the week for these Mustangs.

By ERIC MUSKATEVC
Published March 30, 2007


ST. PETERSBURG - Northside Christian can hang. Every new batch of Mustangs seems to prove this at some point. And it seems this is the week for these Mustangs.

Northside Christian and its half-roster full of freshmen advanced to their Mustang Invitational final with a 6-1 win over higher-classed Dixie Hollins on Thursday.

"Oh, yeah," said Robbie Williams, one of Northside's seven freshmen. "To be able to say we can play with the bigger schools is what this game was all about."

Freshman JoJo Hess (3-0) got the Mustangs through four innings of shutout ball, and though his overly twisting pitching motion brought on a set of cramps and forced him off, he led off the bottom of the fourth with a single. His run came across for the game's first score on a double from Kyle Turner (2-for-3).

Northside (11-5) recorded four of its 12 hits in the fourth and scored two runs before doubles by Will Crispell and another from Turner produced two runs in both the fifth and sixth innings. Back-to-back errors in the top of the sixth gave Dixie (7-12) its lone run, but Williams struck out four and earned his first save of the year with a three-inning relief effort.

LARGO 5, LAKEWOOD 2: Largo (5-10) will give the Mustangs another shot at a public school on Saturday when the teams face off in the 7 p.m. championship. The Packers rode a pair of their own two-run innings to a win over Lakewood (4-10).

Alex Vacha coasted as the starting pitcher while Robert Clarke (2-for-2) scored the first run in the bottom of the first inning and the first of two Packer runs in the fourth on a single from Colby Bowen. Kenny Ransan and Max St. Hilaire each doubled to help extend Largo's lead with two runs in the fifth.

Mark Shedden (2-for-3) and Mike Alberts (1-for-2) singled consecutively in the seventh inning to score a late run for Lakewood.