Baseball District tournament breakdown
By KELLIE DIXON
Published April 22, 2007
Class 5A, District 7
Where: Wesley Chapel
Favorite: Land O'Lakes. The Gators dominated the district, going 8-0 and winning half of its games by at least eight runs.
Other contenders: Ridgewood. The Rams are 18-7 overall, and their only two district losses have come at the hands of Land O'Lakes. Led by senior pticher Ben Koenigsfeld's softball-like numbers (.506 average, seven home runs; 9-1 record, 1.10 ERA, 101 strikeouts, 17 walks), Ridgewood should meet the Gators in the district title game.
County outlook: Not good - if Central gets past its opening-round game against Wesley Chapel, it runs into Land O'Lakes in the semi-finals.
Schedule: Tuesday - Wesley Chapel vs. Central, 7 p.m.; Thursday - River Ridge vs. Ridgewood, 4 p.m.; Wesley Chapel/Central winner vs. Land O'Lakes, 7 p.m.; Friday - championship, 7 p.m.
Class 4A, District 8
Favorite: Pasco. We'll give Nature Coast a little more motivation - even though the Sharks beat the Pirates 10-6 in both teams' district finales, Pasco enters the tournament as the favorite for one reason: It's been there before.
Other contenders: Nature Coast, Zephyrhills. The Sharks have every reason in the world to believe they can win their first district title: They finished the regular season 17-5, went 12-3 in the district, beat Pasco and swept Zephyrhills.
Yet they've also dropped games to Hernando and South Sumter, proving that nothing should be taken for granted.
County outlook: Though Nature Coast is the favorite of the three county teams, don't underestimate the other two. Hernando picked up a lot of confidence when it knocked off the Sharks late in the season.
Springstead, meanwhile, has shown it can play with anyone, including Pasco.
Schedule: Tuesday - Nature Coast vs. South Sumter, 4 p.m.; Pasco vs. Hudson, 7 p.m.; Wednesday - Hernando vs. Gulf, 4 p.m.; Zephyrhills vs. Springstead, 7 p.m.; Thursday - Nature Coast/South Sumter winner vs. Zephyrhills/Springstead winner, 4 p.m.; Pasco/Hudson winner vs. Hernando/Gulf winner, 7 p.m.; Friday - championship, 7 p.m.
Class A, District 7
Site: Hernando Christian
Favorite: Bishop McLaughlin, which went 9-1 through district play with a loss to Hernando Christian.
Other contenders: Hernando Christian.
County outlook: If Hernando Christian can get past Cedar Key, a team the Lions 10-runned once this season, then it will have another shot at favorite Bishop McLaughlin. The Lions blemished Bishop's perfect season with timely hits en route to a 6-4 win in early April.
The Lions are led by Matthew Hunter (.510 batting average, two triples and 15 RBIs), Garrett Mikkola (.481 batting average, two home runs and 12 RBIs), Corey Drummond (.342 batting average, two home runs and 15 RBIs) and Joseph Harrell III (.440 batting average, 25 RBIs and six doubles). In 30 innings pitched, Thomas Bosworth has struck out 27 and has a 2.80 ERA.
Schedule: Monday - First Academy vs. Seven Rivers Christian, 1 p.m.; Cedar Key vs. Hernando Christian, 4 p.m.; Tuesday - St. John Lutheran vs Seven Rivers/First Academy winner, 1 p.m.; Bishop McLaughlin vs Hernando Christian/Cedar Key winner, 4 p.m.; Thursday - championship, 4 p.m.
[Last modified April 21, 2007, 19:11:49]
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