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Adversity to the end for Gaither

Gaither's enigmatic season ended in eerily similar fashion to the way it began.

By JOEY KNIGHT
Published May 2, 2007


SARASOTA - Gaither's enigmatic season ended in eerily similar fashion to the way it began - with left-handed University of South Florida signee Chris Jones in street clothes.

A day before his scheduled start in Tuesday night's region quarterfinal at No. 2-ranked Sarasota, Jones sustained a torn ligament in his right ankle during physical education class.

The injury left him confined to crutches and a black protective boot as he watched a trio of Gaither pitchers surrender 12 hits in a 10-2 loss, ending a 20-win Cowboys season rife with adversity.

Jones, who missed the first six games with a broken left hand, was one of at least three significant players to sustain injuries in 2007. Despite the casualties, which also included a handful of dismissals and suspensions, Gaither still finished 20-8.

"This has been an interesting year - I'd have to say the hardest year we've ever had at Gaither, " said Coach Frank Permuy, the only coach in the program's 23-year history.

The Cowboys spotted the Sailors (25-3) a 5-0 lead after three innings before No. 9 hitter Sean White's two-out, two-run single in the fourth cut the hosts' lead to 5-2. It would be Gaither's final hit off University of Central Florida signee Evan Stobbs (8-1).

Alonso thumps Durant

TAMPA - Tommy Toledo sent down the last 16 hitters he faced and the Ravens used four home runs to destroy Durant 9-0.

Alonso jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first when Alex Panteliodis crushed a two-run double off Cougars (16-11) starter Josh Teplitzky.

The Ravens (25-3) then played long ball.

Designated hitter Nathan Hardin homered in the third to make it 4-0. Then catcher Adam Pendleton and leftfielder Grant Gujdosz went back-to-back in the fifth to extend the lead to eight.

Shortstop Chris Freshcorn ended the barrage with a solo shot to left in the sixth. He finished 2-for-3 with two steals and two runs scored.

Toledo gave up a double to Taed Moses in the first inning but was then perfect before coming out of the game to start the seventh.

He also helped his own cause with three singles.

Sophomore Ray Delphey struck out two in the seventh to preserve the shutout.

Justin Dargahi, Times correspondent