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Land O'Lakes has little trouble earning title

The Gators send 15 batters to the plate in the second inning en route to a shutout.

By JOHN C. COTEY
Published April 28, 2007


WESLEY CHAPEL - In the fifth inning of Friday's district championship game, Land O'Lakes pitcher Matt Fuglesang was called for a balk - while pitching to Ridgewood's Justin Balk.

Oh, and the two coaches, Ridgewood's Larry Beets and Land O'Lakes Cal Baisley, have combined for more than 850 career victories.

Yes, these are the types of things you notice as the mind wanders in a game where the Gators pounded the Rams 10-0 in five innings to capture the district championship in an otherwise forgettable game.

The Gators, who will host Newsome in Tuesday's regional quarterfinal, sent 15 to the plate in the second inning to pummel two Rams pitchers, taking advantage of a hit batter, three walks and four Ridgewood errors to score nine runs and take a 10-0 lead.

That was more than enough support for Matt Fuglesang, who scattered five hits to improve to 5-1.

The Gators (19-7) avenged last year's district final loss, a game they dropped 1-0 after beating the Rams twice during the regular season. This time, Land O'Lakes completed the sweep of the Rams, going 3-0.

"After last year, I'm sure there were a few things written on the bathroom wall, " said Beets, who suggested he might try the same this weekend since his Rams (20-7) get a regional quarterfinal matchup with Bloomingdale, a 16-2 winner last year.