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Jesuit makes quick work of Palmetto

Jesuit was never tested in its Class 4A region quarterfinal.

By JOEL POILEY
Published May 2, 2007


TAMPA - Jesuit was never tested in its Class 4A region quarterfinal, ousting Palmetto 12-0 in a game called after five innings.

The Tigers (23-5) got a long two-run homer from Stephen Hunt in the first inning and piled it on from there. Senior Kevin Quackenbush (10-4) struggled to find his rhythm early. But he had enough to two-hit Palmetto (9-20).

Palmetto was a surprise region qualifier after losing 14 consecutive games during the season. It made Quackenbush work in the first inning, forcing him to throw 30 pitches.

"We knew about their record. But you've got to respect the fact that they made it here, and we took them seriously, " Jesuit coach Richie Warren said. "They made Kevin work. He didn't have his best stuff (only three strikeouts), but he used his defense to get out of some jams and proved he could win when everything wasn't working."

The Tigers scored four in the second, highlighted by Jonathan Koscso's two-run homer. Deuce Strause had a two-run single in the third, making it 8-0, and Jimmy Falla added a two-run single in the fourth.

Class 3A: Berkeley routs Mooney

SARASOTA - Berkeley Prep scored in every inning but the seventh for an 8-2 victory over Sarasota Cardinal Mooney. The Bucs (19-8) had 13 hits and took advantage of four errors by the Cougars.

"Our goal was to score one run an inning, " said Bucs coach Justin Houston, a 1998 Berkeley grad. "We executed very well. We did a phenomenal job on offense."

Berkeley scored one in the first and second, two in the third, one in the fourth and fifth and two in the sixth. The support allowed lefty Matt Ryckman (6-0) to cruise into the sixth against the Cougars (17-8). He allowed two runs on five hits with two walks and eight strikeouts. Eddie Sipple then struck out three of the five batters he faced.

Ryckman had help. He picked off Andrew Hudson at first to end the third, and second baseman Jacob Linsky made a diving grab of Michael Heller's liner with two on to end the fourth. In the fifth, with the bases loaded, first baseman Luke Erickson snared Tommy Goodman's shot down the line and got a forceout that saved at least one run. And after Heller tripled with one out in the sixth, Sipple struck out the next two batters.

Scott Roscovius, Times correspondent

Class A: No repeat for Rams

HUDSON - When they last met, Bishop McLaughlin was cruising along with a 12-1 record and its first state ranking in any sport, and Tampa Baptist was the spoiler, winning in a rout. The loss sent the Hurricanes into a downward spiral. By the time districts started, they had stumbled home with five losses in their past eight games.

Again on a roll, the Hurricanes weren't about to let Tampa Baptist smudge the best season in school history again, exacting revenge with a 13-3 victory.

It wasn't pretty - Tampa Baptist pitchers hit six batters, walked two and threw three wild pitches before the game ended mercifully in the fifth inning.

Bishop McLaughlin (18-6), ranked No. 9, put the Rams (9-15) away with an eight-run second inning.

Chris Wagenheim, Times correspondent

Class A: Crusaders fall a run short

SEFFNER - Seffner Christian chipped away at a 6-2 deficit but came up short in a 6-5 loss to Seven Rivers Christian. The Crusaders beat the Warriors (12-8) 10-6 on March 8. But Tuesday, they trailed 5-1.

"The kids never stopped battling, " Seffner coach Jim Self said. "I'm really thankful for the kids showing a lot of heart and not quitting."

Seffner starter Austin Parimone gave up four runs in the third and was pulled for Taylor Leggatt, who struck out four and gave up a run.

The Crusaders (13-9) had three players - Leggatt, leftfielder Derek Self and catcher Ben Cock - hitting better than .400 coming in. But their No. 7, 8 and 9 hitters provided the offense Tuesday.

First baseman Tanner Raburn, designated hitter Steven Cunningham and third baseman Justin Lively went a combined 4-for-10 with three runs.

Mike Camunas, Times correspondent