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Three's company in third place

Three teams laid claim to third place in the 38th annual Dunedin Spring Invitational as Northeast, Clearwater Central Catholic and Dunedin all won Thursday at Englebert Complex.

By BRANDON WRIGHT
Published March 30, 2007


DUNEDIN - Three teams laid claim to third place in the 38th annual Dunedin Spring Invitational as Northeast, Clearwater Central Catholic and Dunedin all won Thursday at Englebert Complex.

Northeast's Mike Cherico and Austin Gaines combined on a three-hitter in the nightcap to top Clearwater 3-1.

"That was the most complete game we've played all season," Northeast coach Eric Wagman said. "All the way around, in every area of the game, we played well."

The Vikings (11-7) got timely hitting (a two-out Jacob Wilder RBI single in the fifth proved the difference), strong pitching (Cherico and Gaines scattered three singles) and outstanding defense (no errors, pair of double plays).

Cherico (3-0) started and went 51/3 innings, striking out one and walking a pair. Gaines came on and got a groundout and strikeout to end the sixth with the tying runs on base. Luther Garrett then ran down a deep flyball into the left-center gap with the tying run at the plate for the final out in the seventh.

Josh Bowman led the Vikings' seven-hit attack with three hits, including a pair of doubles, one of which drove home Garrett in the second for a 1-0 lead.

DUNEDIN 12, ST. PETERSBURG 2: Jake Rogers went 3-for-4 with a grand slam for Dunedin. Rogers, who drove in six, hit his sixth homer of the season in the fifth to end the game by the run rule. Billy Perillo (4-for-4, two runs) and Max Kreuter (2-for-3, two RBIs) combined for four of the Falcons' (13-4) 11 hits. Kreuter also went all five on the mound, fanning seven and giving up five hits.

CCC 5, PHU 3: Palm Harbor U. (9-6) got the tying run to the plate in the seventh but Clearwater Central Catholic held on. Trevor Campbell got the win in relief for CCC (11-4), scattering three hits in four innings.